What is the fraud liability shift and when is it?

The U.S. fraud liability shifts start taking effect in October 2015 for POS payment devices. The only exception is the Automatic Fuel Dispenser (AFD) which has a fraud liability start date of October 2017.

October 2015 is applicable across all global payment networks: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

The fraud liability shifts for ATMs takes effect in October 2016 for MasterCard. For the other networks, the fraud liability shifts start taking effect from October 2017.

The U.S. approach to fraud liability shift is not a mandate. This in effect means that you will not be penalized for non-compliance by this date. You could however be exposed to or held liable for any counterfeit or lost/stolen card fraud if your cards or terminals are not EMV chip enabled.

The Understanding the 2015 U.S. Fraud Liability Shifts page provides you with access to a white paper that was prepared by the Forum and that provides details from payment networks to assist merchants, acquirers, processors and others implementing EMV chip technology in the U.S. to better understand how liability shifts.

This document simplifies essential information and provides the following information:

  • Counterfeit Fraud Liability Shift: Applies to the following payment networks: Accel, American Express, China UnionPay, Discover, MasterCard, NYCE Payments Network, SHAZAM Network, STAR Network and Visa
  • Lost or Stolen Fraud Liability Shift: Applies to the following payment networks: American Express, Discover and MasterCard
  • Liability Shifts for Cross-Border Transactions: Applies to all global payment networks

The white paper highlights the fact that, as a generality, the party supporting the most secure technology for each fraud type will prevail in a chargeback; and in case of a technology tie, the fraud liability as of October 2015 generally is expected to remain as it is today – with the issuer.