EMV Credit Card Processing (Chip and Signature) and RGP

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February 25, 2016 Update
EMV processing is now in limited beta.  If you are interested in deploying EMV at your facility please review our EMV deployment document.

IMPORTANT: This announcement is about integrated credit card processing for USA and Canadian Rock Gym Pro customers. If you are using a standalone terminal to process your credit card transactions outside of Rock Gym Pro (using an external credit card terminal), then you need to contact your specific merchant account provider for information on migrating to chip card/EMV processing.
Hello from Rock Gym Pro!

As many are already aware, a significant change is occurring involving the processing of credit cards in the U.S. Specifically, the U.S. is transitioning to “chip” cards and moving away from the traditional magnetic cards. Chip enabled cards offer a higher level of security than the traditional magnetic cards.

Supporting chip cards requires merchants to purchase new processing hardware to replace their existing magnetic readers. Additionally, in the case of integrated credit card processing like with RGP, the software needs to be modified to work with the new hardware.

To motivate merchants and software vendors to move to chip technology, the credit card powers-that-be are rolling out a shift in liability starting in October 2015.

VISA’s website has information on the shift in liability to help you understand what it means.

We are sure you have many questions regarding chip technology and Rock Gym Pro’s plan to support the new technology.

Hopefully some of your questions are answered below.

Does Rock Gym Pro plan to support the new chip technology?
YES.

Will your existing magnetic swipes continue to work after October 2015?
YES. Your magnetic swipe readers will operate absolutely fine after October 2015.

Will my rates increase after the October 2015 deadline if I am still using magnetic readers?
NO. Your rates will stay the same. Only the shift in liability for fraudulent transactions will change. Fortunately, these types of transactions are rare for customers using RGP.

Will merchants need to purchase new hardware to support chip technology?
YES. The new hardware must be purchased directly from OpenEdge / Accelerated Payments. But please do not order any hardware at this time. Hardware requirements may change in the future, so you are better off waiting until shortly before you switch to chip card processing.

Does chip technology or the shift-in-liability impact our “billed” member transactions?
NO. The new chip technology only impacts point-of-sale transactions.

What is the schedule for integrated chip card processing support within Rock Gym Pro?
We expect a few beta customers will begin using the integrated credit card processing with RGP during October 2015. As the beta testing period continues, we will continue expanding the number of beta test locations.

Please do not email requesting to be a beta customer, as we will reach out to the beta facilities specifically.

Will all facilities have access to chip card processing by the October 2015 deadline?
Unfortunately, OpenEdge/Accelerated Payments was delayed in releasing the integration tools for Rock Gym Pro and that delayed our internal development. They anticipate releasing the final version of their integration tools during the month of October 2015 – though that date is not a guarantee unfortunately. And until they release their final production integration tools, we are naturally unwilling to release any integration to RGP customers.

Because of this delay, not all RGP customers will be able to use integrated chip processing by the October deadline.

A reminder that after the October deadline your magnetic swipe will continue to work, your rates will stay the same, and the only impact will be a shift in liability for fraudulent transactions processed at point-of-sale. Fortunately, these types of transactions are rare for customers using RGP.

Are there other options if I want to process chip cards starting in October?
YES. Rock Gym Pro has always supported external credit card terminals and you can establish a merchant account with your current bank and use an external chip card terminal.

What is the best method to minimize the already low risk of fraudulent transactions?
If you are concerned about fraudulent transactions, the best prevention is to check your customer’s identification card (driver’s license, etc.) prior to processing the transaction. This will eliminate fraud.

When will chip card processing be available to all Rock Gym Pro customers?
We anticipate that all Rock Gym Pro customers will have access to the integrated chip card processing by Winter 2016. That will allow sufficient time for to properly expand the test program and insure that the system is trouble free.

Canadian customers who currently use an external chip card processor will also have the option of switching to an integrated processing solution within RGP.

Why is the EMV integration delayed?
The biggest challenge has been the delay with the integration tools provided by OpenEdge/Accelerated Payments. Additionally, the system is new for Open Edge/Accelerated Payments, and this means there are problems and bugs still being discovered on their side.

Rock Gym Pro processes hundreds of thousands of transactions per month, and this integration needs to be 100% perfect. There is no reason to rush out the integration until it is absolutely ready. We don’t want the cure (the integration!) to be worse than the disease (the low risk of fraudulent POS transactions!).

Additionally, many RGP customers will need to be ported over to GlobalPayments for their merchant services. Open Edge is still working out the logistics to make this seamlessly happen for their merchants.

Will chip and pin be integrated? Or just chip and signature?
The U.S. is not transitioning to chip and pin, just chip and signature. So only chip and signature will be available in the U.S. Once the integration is rolled out in Canada, chip and pin will be available in Canada.

Will ApplePay and other NFC payment systems be supported?
YES. These will be supported out of the box!

Will debit cards be supported?
While debit cards will not be supported initially, it is our plan to support debit cards within 12 months. The new chip card readers have a pinpad interface which will allow integration with debit cards (with pins) into RGP. Combo debit-credit cards will continue to function as they currently do – that is being processed as a credit card.

If I need to purchase hardware for a new gym or a new workstation right now, what processing hardware should I purchase?
You should purchase a standard magnetic stripe reader. You will need one to process credit card transactions at this time, and you will continue to need those readers even once you are transitioned to EMV processing as cards may need to be swiped in order to enter their credit card numbers for membership billing purposes.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period.