Slamming and the Chip: What Merchants Need to Know


The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning business owners about a new scam that has surfaced in some parts of the U.S. It’s related to the ongoing rollout of microchip-embedded EMV® payment cards and a fraudulent activity known as slamming.

Slamming, as defined by the BBB, is a deceptive sales practice intended to switch a business’ merchant services provider without their consent or knowledge. The typical scenario unfolds like this: A scammer calls a business, posing as its payment processor, bank or an EMV representative. The fraudster claims that the merchant’s credit card terminals are not compliant with a new feature due to recent updates that were made to process chip cards. The alleged agent offers to remedy the situation by reprogramming the terminal at no cost to the merchant.

If the scammer is allowed access to the terminal, they redirect the financial transactions from the actual payment processor to themselves, resulting in double billing and a potential breach-of-contract situation for the merchant, as well as added fees and other consequences.

“Avoiding a slamming scam might seem like a matter of common sense,” notes the BBB. “However, when dealing with an unknown entity over the phone, sometimes it’s difficult not to fall prey to a high-pressure sales pitch or coercion by the caller for personal information.”

The organization advises that business owners who suspect that they are being slammed in this manner should first try to verify the caller. The easiest way to do that is to hang up and call the customer service contact number provided by the processor or the sales rep. You always have the right to say “no” to any phone solicitation, no matter how urgent it may sound. Think twice before being pressured to change a service, sign a contract or schedule an on-site visit to do any work on your credit card terminals unless you are absolutely sure about the person with whom you are dealing.

As a highly-experienced, full-service payment processor, TransFirst® works hard to establish and maintain a professional relationship with all of our clients. Our operations are based on honesty, integrity and outstanding service; in fact, we have earned an A+ Customer Satisfaction rating from Better Business Bureau. We are proud of the positive feedback we receive from our merchants.  Besides offering secure and affordable processing, we back our transactions with the most advanced networks available.

When you’re ready to experience the TransFirst Advantage, give us a call or complete the sign-up form on this page.

EMV is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCO LLC in the United States and other countries.


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