New credit card requirements coming October 1 that will greatly affect merchants was explained in simplified terms Thursday by Cindy Coyle, Director of Electronic Services at Foothill Credit Union, and John LaRocca of LaRocca Integrated Solutions, Inc. at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Government Affairs Forum Thursday (September 3, 2015) sponsored by Keystone 365 Sponsor Singpoli.
Among the biggest changes:
- All businesses must change their credit card reading devices from “swipers” to the new EMV chip readers starting October 1.
- Businesses without the EMV readers will be liable for fraudulent/identify theft charges.
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The Forum, held free each month in the Chamber’s conference room that is sponsored by Foothill Credit Union, is led by Chairman Jack Orswell from Orswell & Kasman, Inc. Environmental Assessments & Consulting, also includes updates from City of Arcadia Mayor Gary Kovacic plus reports from the offices of Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and Assemblymember Ed Chau, among others (details of their reports below).
The guest speakers provided valuable information about EMVs (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) that have been used in most of the rest of the world for many years. The chips required to be embedded in all credit cards issued this year have proven to be far more secure than the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. In France, fraud is down 80% since converting, according to Cindy from Foothill. She indicates that the changes will result in minimal impact to the cardholder except a few extra seconds waiting for the new reader/terminal to lock until in transaction approval. (Some people have reported it can take as long as 30-seconds to 1-minute for the transaction, although Mayor Gary Kovacic said he had no troubles or delays using the system last month on his trip to Croatia.)
During a transition process credit cards will have both the stripe and the chip. Merchants and consumers will have the option of swiping cards but liability for fraudulent charges will be assessed at the point of the least security and updated technology. Although the liability shift on Point of Sale will take place on October 1, 2015, gas stations are not required to convert to the new ECM readers until October 2017 because of the many readers required at each station. Each reader costs anywhere from $199 – $600, which could add up to $5,000 at some stations.
John LaRocca indicates that the United States is responsible for 27% of the world’s credit card processing and yet the U.S. is responsible for 60% of credit card fraud. He says that the old terminals work on telephone lines while newer terminals have everyone on Internet Protocol (IP). He cited problems that businesses can have such as communication errors that result in no settlement/payment of funds to a merchant at the end of the day. John and his company work to prevent such problems and correcting them when they do.
John believes that in 3-5 years there will be no more checks in use in the United States. He also noted the technological advances of phone apps like Apple Pay that offers a high level of security where the merchant does not have access to the actual credit card account number.
Reports from legislators and their representatives:
- Viola Van, representing Congresswoman Judy Chu, summarized the biggest summer events, beginning with the Scam Prevention Workshop in conjunction with Assemblymember Ed Chau and emcee’d by Mayor Gary Kovacic at the Arcadia Community Center, as well as the Congresswoman’s annual DiverCities awards at which Arcadia Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick was honored as Business Person of the Year. Viola states that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and that the Congresswoman’s office will be collecting clothing, cell phones and other items including canned foods that will go to help the victims of domestic violence.
- Clayton Arick, representing Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez, indicates that the Senator is accepting nominations for the Annual Awards honoring Veterans in the district. Candidates for the 2015 Veterans Service Awards must live or work in the 22nd Senate District: Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, South San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Industry, Avocado Heights, La Puente, Valinda, West Covina, Vincent, Azusa, Citrus, Covina, Temple City, or Arcadia. In addition to serving our Country, the candidate must display a passion for serving his or her community. If you wish to nominate someone please contact the Senator’s office.
- Adam Hsu, representing Assemblymember Ed Chau, reported that in addition to proudly co-hosting the June 6 Scam Prevention Workshop with Congresswoman Judy Chu, the Assemblymember hosted a workshop in July for non-profits in the San Gabriel Valley that attracted more than a hundred attendees, and a Water Forum with participants from a variety of water districts discussing the drought situation and water conservation measures.
- Mayor Gary Kovacic reported being proud to dedicate the new Arcadia Gold Line train station and recognize the Arcadia Chamber at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting for its work in supporting the Measure R tax increase that funded the train line extension and spearheading the customized art elements reflecting Santa Anita Park horse track. He also noted that the City is moving forward on the updating of commercial and industrial codes thanks in part to the Chamber’s lobbying, but remains at a political standstill on the updating of residential code updates. With respect to the drought, the City has managed an impressive water-use reduction of 28% but is still well short of the state-mandated 36%. Facing daily fines of as much as $10,000, the City may soon have to mandate further cutbacks, such as only two days of lawn watering.
Mayor Kovacic, who is also CEO of the Arcadia Performing Arts Center Foundation, announced an impressive upcoming season of performers that includes Herb Alpert, an ABBA tribute band performance, a jazz group and a Hawaiian show featuring Daniel Ho.
- Jason Kruckeberg, Assistant Arcadia City Manager/Development Services Director, indicates that the Arcadia Transit survey is being undertaken to determine how to improve service and integrate the existing transit system here in Arcadia with the Gold Line when it begins service next year. The City is also in the process of drafting an EIR for development of a 1.7 million square foot distribution center on an 81-acre parcel in south Arcadia that will impact neighboring El Monte more than Arcadia. Jason also introduced the crowd to Tim Schwehr who is the city’s new business ombudsman. Congratulations to Tim, who has worked for the City as a Associate Planner in Development Services for years.
- Linda Sells of the Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte Town Council indicates that the John Nicoloro family is very appreciative to the Arcadia Chamber Forum and everyone for their cards and good wishes over the loss of John, which was a shock to everyone. Linda indicates that they do have two spots open on the Board and they hope to fill one of the spots with John’s wife. Linda indicates that they recently had a representative from the Golden State Water Board come and discuss water conservation efforts. The unincorporated area of Arcadia is mandated by the State to cut water consumption by 26% and so far they have met that goal or are close to meeting it. Linda is also looking for a 6,000 square foot space to house the current Live Oak Library. If you know of a location please contact Linda.
- Mike Vercillo with the Arcadia Police Department indicates that the next Coffee with a Cop will take place on Wednesday, September 16 from 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. at Santa Anita Park located at 285 W. Huntington Drive. Please enter through Gate 5 (Huntington Drive and Colorado Place). Follow the signs to Seabiscuit Court. Mike further indicates that there will be an Emergency Preparedness Expo on Sunday, September 27, 2015, from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. at the City of Arcadia Community Center, 365 Campus Drive in Arcadia. There will be demonstrations and workshops scheduled throughout the EXPO with interactive presentations for kids, including an earthquake simulator. There will be free door prizes and food trucks as well!
- Donna Lee states that the Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage is featuring a wonderful photographic exhibit entitled “Water in Motion.” The Museum is located at 380 West Huntington Drive Arcadia CA 91007 (626) 574-5440. Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday.
The next Government Affairs Forum on October 1 at 8 a.m. will feature Attorney April Verlato, President of the Arcadia Downtown Improvement Association, discussing the status of the Street Fair and other initiatives of the Association.
The public is invited at 8 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month to hear informative presentations at the monthly Government Affairs Forum sponsored by Singpoli and led by Chairman Jack Orswell from Orswell & Kasman, Inc. Environmental Assessments & Consulting. RSVPs to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce office are appreciated – (626) 447-2159 or info@ArcadiaCaChamber.org.