Providers experience chip-card related delays

Friday, April 1, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine – The deadline for retailers to transition to chip-enabled payment systems has come and gone, but many HME providers say they’re still waiting for the green light from the companies that offer those systems.

“We use Intuit and they have yet to provide us with chip readers, even though the law went into effect last year,” said Wayne Slavitt, founder and CEO of Mobül in Long Beach, Calif. “They sent us an indemnity letter and said, ‘We’ll let you know when we have the equipment.’”

There’s potentially a lot at stake: As of Oct. 1, 2015, retailers could be held liable for fraudulent purchases if they haven’t updated their payment systems to accept chip-enabled credit cards.

Provider Kevin Brownis in a similar boat as Slavitt. He has the readers, but the accompanying software hasn’t been updated.

“Eighty-five percent of our transactions are credit card transactions,” said Brown, who owns two All Star Medical locations in Tennessee. “I haven’t put much worry or thought into it, though, because I don’t have control over it. When they tell me they’re going to do the update, we’ll transition over to it pretty quick.”

While neither provider has been given a time frame as to when they can make the transition, Brown says his customers don’t seem too concerned about a potential data breach.

“They know we have information on them that most places don’t—like social security numbers and date of birth—and credit cards are just one more area,” he said.

While many providers are at a standstill, Mike Kuller, owner of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Allstar Medical Supply (no relation to All Star Medical of Tennessee), is one of the lucky few who is up and running.

“We’ve had our chip reader for about a month now, but I ordered one back in September,” he said.

To help make the transition from swiping to inserting smoother, Kuller is doing things a little differently.

“Since we deal with mostly seniors, we put the card in ourselves,” he said. “It takes a little more time for the transaction to go through, so we figured it would be simpler if we did it.”