Many churches now have credit/debit card scanners for accepting donations or for payments at bookstores, coffee shops, youth events, etc. However, you need to be aware that the current method of swiping a card is being updated to a system that will read a microchip embedded in the card, along with a pin number entered by the card owner.
According to articles in the Wall Street Journal and in Kiplinger Letter, the credit card companies are currently issuing the new cards, prior to an October 2015 deadline. While the older technology (and older cards) will still work after this date (i.e.: you will still be able to “swipe and sign”), there will be a “liability shift.” In other words, if a member uses a new card with a chip, but the church has an older card reader and a fraud is committed, the church will bear the responsibility for the fraudulent charges. If the church has a reader with the newer technology, but the bank has not yet issued a chip-embedded card, then the bank will bear the liability for any fraudulent charges.
Churches should contact the company that provides their credit card scanner and request a new scanner which can read/scan the embedded chip, prior to the October deadline. There will likely be an increase in the monthly fee due to the higher costs of the new scanners.
Delano Sherley is a CPA and president of Delano Sherley & Associates, Inc. He can be reached at 513-737-1314. Delano Sherley & Associates, Inc., 3189 Princeton Road, Suite 228, Hamilton, OH 45011. Email: Delano@dsacpainc.com Website: www.dsacpainc.com