MasterCard 2 Series Causing Confusion Among U.S. Merchants

MasterCard 2 Series Causing Confusion Among U.S. Merchants

The voice on the other end of the line was frantic.

‘We just got this letter from our payment processor saying our credit card terminal won’t work after May 31. Do you know anything about this?’

Being in the business of payment processing, I get the occasional industry credit card inquiries.

‘Send me the letter,’ I told her. I did some research and came across a terrific news item in the latest issue of ISO & Agent, about the MasterCard 2 Series credit and debit cards, and how it’s causing merchants and payment processors a degree of panic; some thinking they need to upgrade their POS systems.

The panic is legitimate – some merchants and processors may have to, while others will need a software update. Some needn’t do a thing.

MasterCard 2 Series: Why U.S. merchants may have to switch their POS Terminals

Many U.S. merchants have yet to convert to POS terminals that accept EMV chip cards, for reasons none other than not feeling threatened by rapidly rising e-commerce fraud (a very risky prospect). The MasterCard 2 Series rollout might change that. Not every U.S. merchant will need to upgrade their POS terminals, but many will, especially if:

  • Your terminal is between 15-20 years old – no longer with software support
  • Your terminal was bought within the last five years – a software upgrade is likely in order

Getting mixed messages? Here’s what merchants need to do

It’s easy to understand why the letter above caused my colleague to go into crisis mode. She works for a small business, and upgrading a POS terminal can be expensive. The ISO & Agent article had a similar story in which a merchant was notified that s/he had to upgrade to a new POS terminal, even though theirs was a recent model.

While their PSP stated they needed a full system upgrade, the terminal provider quelled the situation and notified the merchant to say a software upgrade would suffice.

Most merchants keep their terminals longer than they should, some long after their model has been discontinued. Merchants in this category need a frank discussion with both their PSP as well as their terminal provider.

So what did I tell my colleague?

Regarding my prior statement about some merchants keeping their terminals longer than they should. In this case, it has provided my colleague a stay or execution of sorts. Because she operates a POS system that has a dial-up connection, the call for MasterCard 2 Series change will not affect her business.

Eventually, however, she will need to upgrade her POS terminal, with which Instabill will assist her. Not only does Instabill provide merchant accounts for e-commerce businesses, we also offer affordable POS hardware solutions for brick and mortar merchants with live support.

Our merchant account managers are available directly by calling 1-800-530-2444.

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