Chargebacks911 COO Warns Merchants: EMV Liability Shift “Charge It All Back” Could Kill Small and Mid-Size Businesses

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Banks are now transferring full liability for fraud to merchants who are not EMV compliant, even though some chargebacks were never intended to be their responsibility. What recourse do these merchants have?

Monica Eaton-Cardone comments on the EMV shift and the increased fraud liability for merchants.

Merchants are the cornerstone of our economy and dumping all liability on them can kill the small to mid-size merchant who often can’t afford dedicated chargeback staff – a particularly dire consequence in this age of start-ups and entrepreneurialism.

The EMV liability shift enacted on October 1, 2015 has forced even more responsibility– and revenue loss – on merchants. Only 6% of merchants met the enforced deadline and currently, only 8.5% of U.S. merchants are able to process EMV enabled credit cards – unsurprisingly, the fallout has been substantial as retailers are now being forced to pay for chargebacks they, per industry guidelines, are not liable for. According to Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO of Chargebacks911, merchants are being given the short shrift – an assertion backed up by reports that “banks are taking a “charge them all back” approach to chargebacks,” potentially crippling small to mid-size retailers who serve as the backbone to the US economy. (1)

According to Greg Buzek, President of IHL, retailers who are not EMV compliant are getting all the chargebacks – even the ones they were never liable for, including chargebacks for lost and stolen cards – despite guidelines that expressly spare retailers from responsibility and notes that even EMV technology would not catch stolen cards unless they’ve been reported. (2) Monica Eaton-Cardone echoes Buzek’s claims, saying this new approach works against the financial teamwork acquiring banks, issuing banks and merchants are supposed to be.

“For the most part, merchants are the wrong target. Remember, EMV implementation is about deliberate fraud,” she said. “Merchants are the cornerstone of our economy and dumping all liability on them can kill the small to mid-size merchant who often can’t afford dedicated chargeback staff – a particularly dire consequence in this age of start-ups and entrepreneurialism.”

There is much to make a merchant reluctant to adopt the new credit card technology. The process is a merchant-side investment and so far it slows down transaction times significantly. Banks issuing EMV enabled cards do not provide the new information into account updates, so the burden is on the merchant to proactively get new information from the consumers.

Chargeback fraud has been on the rise for some time and accounts for an estimated 86% of all chargebacks. (3) Even so, once a chargeback is initiated, the transaction is usually reversed back to the merchant, plus an additional fee. Since chargebacks were created to protect consumers from things like fraud and services not rendered, the burden of proof typically falls on the merchant. If a merchant chooses to fight a chargeback, it can be difficult to win, especially in cases where proper procedures aren’t being followed. A recent report by the Kansas City Federal Reserve found that merchants only prevail in 20-30% of chargeback disputes. (4)

Eaton-Cardone advises merchants to take a proactive approach by not only updating their devices to accept EMV cards as soon as they are able, but also keeping in an audit trail to fight the merchant and acquiring banks on fraudulent charges. Additionally, and particularly in this evolving system of credit processing and fraud detection, they should look into the assistance of a trusted third party chargeback mitigation firm with the technological clout and track record necessary to win disputes. She says that merchants are in business to sell goods and services and support customers. They shouldn’t have to hire a division of chargeback admins just to keep their doors open.

About Global Risk Technologies and Chargebacks911:

Global Risk Technologies is most known for its role in payment processing solutions that cater to each side of the value chain: and The firm is headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida, with offices in Ireland and Atlanta. They have approximately 350 employees worldwide and currently manage over 150MM in transactions each month, with clients located in the U.S. and Europe.

Chargebacks911 is a division of Global Risk Technologies, and was developed specifically for merchants to offer immediate aid through proprietary technology and provide the necessary function that gives merchants the freedom to focus on their core competency and optimize their in-house skill set. Chargebacks911 focuses on chargeback mitigation and risk management. They specialize in servicing Internet merchants and acquiring banks, offering dispute response solutions and deep analytics. Chargebacks911 works with their client base to help them keep dispute rates down and retain their ability to accept credit cards. For more information, visit

1. "EMV AND THE CHARGEBACK CONUNDRUM." N.p., 2 Feb. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

2. "Stupid Is as Stupid Does – EMV Mess." IHL Group. N.p., 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

3.nGluts, Autumn. "As Chargebacks Rise for Merchants, ISOs Respond." Payments Source. N.p., 3 Dec. 2015. Web.

4. "How Chargebacks Impact Merchants Following the EMV Liability Shift.". N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

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