Does Your Church Use a Credit Card Reader?
New legal requirements for this start on October 1.
Does Your Church Use a Credit Card Reader?

[New credit cards that help prevent fraud] require new devices to read them, and [churches that] process transactions will need to be trained on the new procedures. Instead of swiping the magnetic strip, the card will be “dipped” into the device, which can read the chip, authenticate it, and then require a PIN or signature from the card holder.

To encourage adoption of the latest technology, liability for fraud will change on October 1. Traditionally, credit card companies or banks issuing cards were responsible for any fraud that occurred with the card. Beginning October 1, however, whoever uses the older card system will be liable. This means that churches processing payments on EMV cards with old devices could be on the hook if they process an upgraded card with an old magnetic strip card reader.

As more and more retail stores and other outlets make the switch to the new technology, fraudulent activity will no doubt increase where systems are most vulnerable—and this could certainly include churches with dated readers.

Adapted from "Implementing New Credit Card Readers," Church Finance Today, July 2015. The entire article is available to subscribers of

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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