MasterCard’s New 2-Series Card Deadline
The new 2-Series BIN (bank identification number) is going to be circulating shortly. When the new cards are released the old card beginning with the 5-digit will be joined by cards beginning with the 2-digit. Be sure to start educating anyone handling payments that these cards beginning with “2” are in fact valid MasterCard account numbers.
MasterCard Sees A Rise In Pre-Paid Accounts
MasterCard sees a rise in prepaid cards, which is why they need more capacity for account numbers. They have sent out “mystery shoppers” to see how many merchants will be ready to accept these new cards. The current assumption is that it is way early to draw any conclusions. Visa, Amex, and Discover are facing similar challenges, but they are handling them differently.
The writing is on the wall that it is important to keep payment terminals and software updated as the major brands continue an explosive growth cycle. Many terminals like VeriFone’s VX510 may technically be capable of handling an update, but acquirers are no longer providing software updates, making them “end of life”. As a result, your terminal may not work with these new cards.
Will A Software Update Be Enough?
Your acquirer will bear most of the burden. However, you might need to upgrade your terminal or software or face the possibility of losing sales. Hopefully, your business has updated its equipment to handle EMV transactions already. This particular update does not ensure that the new cards will work with your terminal or point of sale system. The scope of this and other pending changes are challenging to the entire industry as the effects on business owners and their processing equipment remain unknown.
With all the changes taking place in the payment space, terminals typically have a lifespan of five to seven years. This lifecycle is significantly less than previous generations which, in some cases, would last up to ten years. Looking forward, as technology continues to evolve, so will your payment types. No more are the “basic terminals” sufficient, and methods of accepting those new forms of payments will evolve.
Hopefully, all your system needs is a simple software update to accept these new cards. This is just another reason to have a good working relationship with your processor. Processors are great resources to keep you on top of the ever-changing payment industry.
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