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The facts about Credit Card Truncation

What is Credit Card Truncation?

Credit Card Truncation is the ability of a Credit Card Machine to Remove all but the last 4 or 5 digits of a Credit Card number and the expiration date from the sales receipt. Here is an example of a truncated and a non-truncated receipt.

Truncated Receipt.
Acct# - **** **** **** 9999
Exp ****

Non-truncated Receipt.
Acct# - 1234 5678 9000 0000
Exp 00/00

If the receipt. resembles the example on the right, or the expiration date is printed on the receipt, then the receipt is not being truncated.

By current Visa and MasterCard regulations it is only required for the customers copy of the receipt to be truncated. This means that if you are using a terminal or software program that only truncated the customers receipt, this is still ok. We recently had an inquiry as to which receipts were required to be truncated, and this is what we found.

Truncation Key Dates (Visa or Mastercard Regulation):
July, 1 2003 - From this date all newly programmed or reprogrammed terminals must be truncation compliant.
July, 1 2006 - All new and existing terminals must be compliant.

These dates do not take the state or federal regulations in account. Check your individual state regulations for the complete truncation requirements for your business.

FACTA, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (Federal Regulation):

C. Truncation: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Social Security Numbers

Receipts that include full account numbers and expiration dates are a gold mine for identity thieves. In some states, full printing of this information is already prohibited. For the future, FACTA sets a national standard for truncation of card information.

FACTA says receipts for credit and debt card transactions may not include more than the last five digits of the card number or expiration date. However, the effective date of this provision is a long way off, and there are a couple of loopholes:

  • This section does not apply to receipts for which the sole means of recording a credit or debt card number is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the card.
  • For machines in use before July 1, 2005, the merchant has three (3) years to comply.
  • For machines in use after January 1, 2005, the merchant has one (1) year to comply.

These Machines no-longer are allowed by Visa and MasterCard:

  • Verifone Zon Jr
  • Verifone Zon JR XL
  • Linkpoint 4000
  • POS 50
  • POS 500

Why is Truncation Important?

Truncation is important to protect the customer from losing their credit card number if they lose their receipt. It protects both the merchant and the customer by not allowing the credit card number to be printed and therefore preventing fraudulent situations.

Why Should I be Truncating?

Besides the reason aforementioned, It is a pending federal law not to be truncating credit card transactions.
Effective July 1, 2003 all terminals being activated, must have and use their truncating capabilities. The Visa/MasterCard penalties for failing to Truncate are as follows:

  • 1st Violation - $5,000
  • 2nd Violation - $10,000
  • 3rd Violation - $25,000
  • 4th Violation - $50,000
  • Willful or Egregious Violation - $500,000/month

These are just the Visa/MasterCard penalties; there are federal and state penalties that may also be collected. State penalties vary, but can be up to $10,000 per transaction and can have felony charges associated with them. As of Jan, 1 2004 - 8 states will require all processing machines to truncate credit card receipts, and other states are soon to follow.

All it takes is one dissatisfied customer or credit card company agent to report an non-truncating establishment and the business can be penalized and shut down, and the merchant may be placed on the terminated merchant file, which will prevent them from accepting credit cards in the future.

What can I do to ensure that I am Truncating?

Click Here To Order a Truncating Machine

You can call your current merchant account service provider or you can call the Merchant Store. We have a highly skilled department that will be able to determine if your current machine is truncating or if it has the ability to truncate. Many processing machines can still truncate if properly programmed.

If you would like more information on credit card truncation, would like to purchase a compatible machine or would like to start a merchant account, please give us a call at 800-898-3436 or order a credit card machine from our website. We sell at near wholesale prices so chances are you wont find a better price anywhere. We sell only 100% truncation compatible machines and chances are we will save you money on your credit card processing fees. We will be more that happy to answer all of your questions about credit card machines and merchant accounts, and we are prepared meet all of your processing needs.

Why has my Credit Card Machine been shut off?

Many credit card processing companies have not appropriately informed their customers about the laws and regulations of credit card truncation. But, these agencies have to adhere to Visa and MasterCard Regulations associated with credit card truncation. They have no choice but to disable any machines that will not perform credit card truncation. Many machines such as the Verifone Tranz 330, can still truncate credit cards when signed up with the right processing bank. If you have a Verifone Tranz 330 that has recently been disabled due to credit card truncation, call the Merchant Store, and we can get you processing again, with the same machine, in just a few days.

Why purchase a new machine when you can continue to use your current credit card machine? The Verifone Tranz 330 will truncate credit card receipts when operating on the right platform.

Truncation Laws By State

The next section explains the current regulations for credit card truncation by each state. Keep in mind that these are state laws and are not associated with the Visa and MasterCard regulations that are already in effect. Click on your state to see a list of state truncation regulations.




South Carolina




South Dakota



New Hampshire




New Jersey




New Mexico




New York




North Carolina




North Dakota





West Virginia












Washington DC



Rhode Island

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