Visa has advised face-to-face merchants not to accept unembossed cards unless the card can be electronically read. Merchants cannot create a manual imprint with an unembossed card, which might result in a chargeback right if fraud occurs. However, merchants that accept unembossed cards without reading the chip or magnetic stripe might not seek issuer authorization if the transaction amount is below the floor limit for the merchant category. This limits issuers’ ability to control credit losses.
Accordingly, effective 1 July 2010, revisions to the Visa International Operating Regulations have been approved that require face-to-face transactions with unembossed cards to be zero floor limit when the card cannot be electronically read, regardless of any higher floor limit for the merchant category.