The National ATM Council Inc. says MasterCard should delay its upcoming April 19 ATM liability shift deadline for its Maestro cards used at U.S. ATMs, based on the industry's slowness in deciding on a common code for EMV debit transactions to satisfy federal routing choice mandates.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based council, a trade association representing independent ATM providers and suppliers in the U.S., said Feb. 15 it has sent a letter to MasterCard requesting the delay. In addition, the council wants MasterCard to adjust its liability shift deadlines to coincide exactly with those of Visa Inc. to alleviate any confusion in the ATM industry.

MasterCard's first EMV preparation deadline on April 1 is the same as Visa's for acquirers to update infrastructure and enable core systems to support EVM transactions. But the April 19 deadline, which MasterCard announced in 2011, calls for owners and operators of ATMs in the U.S. to be liable for all potential counterfeit fraud on internationally issued Maestro cards conducting transactions in the U.S.

"We are developing and implementing a new service for U.S. ATM acquirers that will seek to identify and prevent counterfeit fraud at non-EMV ATMs," says MasterCard spokesman Seth Eisen.

MasterCard states on Oct. 1, 2016 all ATM owners and operators would be liable for fraud on domestically issued cards if the ATM terminals were not made EMV compliant.

Visa recently released an April 1, 2015 deadline for third-party acquirers to have ATMs ready to accept EMV technology, and an Oct. 1, 2017 date for an ATM liability shift in the U.S.

Visa also recently offered technology to potentially settle the issue of a common routing code for EMV debit transactions.

The National ATM Council is requesting the April 19 delay from MasterCard until a universally accepted code, or application identifier, for the debit transactions has been formulated so EMV debit transactions can route on different networks in compliance with the Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank consumer protection act.

The ATM industry will need adequate time to test and deploy the common code, as well as related hardware and software upgrades needed to make the U.S. ATM base of more than 425,000 terminals compliant, the council says.

The council is seeking clarification from MasterCard about whether the earlier Maestro card liability shift "was intended to be included in the overall Oct. 1, 2016 EMV related liability shift plan."

"With little more than two months until MasterCard's liability shift for Maestro cards, there is still no universally applicable AID for EMV in the U.S.," Bruce Renard, the council's executive director, states in a press release.

Even if a common code that met federal regulations were available immediately, there is no "financially or operationally realistic way" all of the ATMs in the country could be EMV compliant in MasterCard's timeframe, Renard says.

Renard could not be reached for further comment by deadline.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry