A merchantís guide to unembossed credit cards

By: Kelly Brown

Over the years, the look of credit cards has changed from a standard design to specialty cards featuring artwork, university logos and even family photos. Now, the face of credit cards is changing once again. Visa and MasterCard are beginning to issue unembossed credit cards to accommodate a changing payment culture. It is likely you have seen these cards already. The new unembossed cards have a flat, smooth surface instead of featuring raised numbers and symbols. This offers increased security to cardholders because an imprint of the card cannot be made.

The unembossed credit cards are similar to cards already being accepted, and merchants should look for the new cards in the form of a credit, debit or prepaid card. The only difference is all information, including the cardholder name, primary account number (PAN), validity date and security character, is laser-engraved, thermal or indent printed securely on the front of the card.

Also on the front of the new unembossed cards, merchants will see a disclaimer reading ďelectronic use only.Ē This communicates to merchants and customers alike that the card may only be used at electronic point-of-sale terminals. Merchants without electronic terminals who accept unembossed cards will risk a chargeback by the credit card company if the charge is disputed.

For merchants already using an electronic credit card terminal, the transition to processing unembossed credit cards will be seamless. Thatís because processing an unembossed card will be the same as processing an embossed card. Just swipe the card using the magnetic strip and then wait for an authorization and obtain the customerís signature. For mobile merchants, however, a change in process will be needed to accommodate the increase in use of unembossed credit cards.

Traditionally, mobile merchants, such as event t-shirt vendors, create an imprint of a customerís credit card and then process it later on a land-based credit card terminal. Since unembossed cards do not feature raised characters, obtaining an imprint will be impossible. Mobile merchants hoping to key in a customerís credit card number on a land-based credit card terminal will risk chargebacks from the credit card issuer if the charge is disputed by the customer.

The ideal option for mobile merchants then is to upgrade their payment system to a wireless credit card terminal that can read a credit cardís magnetic strip. This is a simple step that will ensure mobile merchants receive all the revenue for credit card transactions and reduce risk of chargebacks. The addition of a wireless credit card terminal also creates ease in the payment process, which will inevitably lead to increased sales and less wait time for customers. Finally, swiping the card instead of keying in a card will result in lower fees.

If your business is in need of updating its credit card processing system to comply with the new technology, Veritrans Merchant Account Services http://www.veritransllc.com/ can help you with this. Veritrans treats its customers like family. With no fine print, no hidden costs or fees, and superior quality service.

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Veritrans will give you a free consultation and a free analysis with recommendations for your particular credit card processing need. Call them at 1-866-474-4144 or email them today at [email protected] for more information.

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