In a recent report by journalist Evan Schuman, titled “EMV is ‘A Colossal Waste of Time’ for Retailers”, Evan reports findings from a comprehensive report on EMV from the respected global research firm IHL. The IHL report  builds the case for retailers to “opt out” of accepting EMV. Several factors help build this argument including price, efficiency and the fact that fraud will simply switch to on-line.
But what about EMV for Healthcare Providers? Is the adoption of EMV a smart decision for Healthcare Providers?
The secure card technology, EMV, designed to reduce fraud at the point of sale, does nothing for other channels such as e-commerce and mobile. In Europe, where EMV acceptance is mainstream, overall fraud actually increased as fraudsters shifted their focus from retail to easier targets.
EMV transactions also increase the time to process transactions by 2 seconds or more. In an age where speed and efficiency wins, and efforts are explored daily to improve the payment experience, EMV acceptance appears to be a step in the wrong direction.
Regarding the ROI for EMV implementation, the report outlined that a typical $1 Billion retailer with 65% of sales in credit/debit will see approximately $975K in fraud. For that same retailer, the cost for EMV implementation, to include hardware, training and personnel, is estimated at over $1,000,000.

Which raises the question, why spend $1,000,000 to protect $975K?


The case for Healthcare

While the trend towards a “retail” healthcare model will drive patient engagement, satisfaction and repeat business, the inherit risk of payment acceptance is drastically different. Healthcare providers have a significantly more personal relationship with their “customers”, and will typically see them more than once.

Data collection at the point of service, and increased use of Electronic Health Records, provide comfort that the person being seen by the physician is exactly who they say they are.

Payment processors also provide some valuable insight to the amount of payment fraud that actually happens at the point of service.

When interviewing several processors with healthcare centric portfolios, the amount of fraud for card present transactions, from 2010 to 2014, was exactly ZERO.

While all the conversations around EMV outline the benefits and the implementation plans, Healthcare providers need to seriously consider the return on their investment, and whether or not the disruption in their work flow will provide any long-term value.
Tom Cooley is a payment processing executive with extensive experience in healthcare, integrated payment processing and improving the payment experience at the point of service. As founder of Versatalis Payment Solutions, tom drove in excess of 200% year over year growth, consistently for over 10 years before exiting. Tom brings a unique voice and perspective about the intersection of healthcare and payment processing. Follow Tom for more great insights.