If you are a business owner, chances are you have a glancing familiarity with the new fraud-fighting, chipped credit cards that are currently (or soon will be) in the wallets of American consumers. This is because financial institutions have established an October 1 deadline for businesses to begin accepting these high tech credit and debit cards or face total liability for any fraudulent purchases.
EMV, (or Europay, Mastercard, and Visa), is already the standard across much of the rest of the world. The United States has lagged behind both European zones, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in deploying this new card and card reader that was designed specifically to eliminate in-person credit card fraud. While many larger US retailers have already introduced the updated card reader and POS systems in preparation for the changeover date, many American small business owners are, according to statistics, likely to be caught unaware. While some cite the cost of the new equipment as prohibitive, the likelihood they will be on the hook for fraudulent purchases is an even higher and more likely drain on their company’s finances.
The EMV cards, with their embedded microchip, are meant to be inserted into compatible card readers, rather than the traditional ‘swipe’ that reads information off of the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card. The EMV card still has the magnetic strip, so consumers with EMV cards will still be able to make purchases at retailers who have not yet made the transition to the new card protocol. The strength of the EMV card is that the microchip creates new and unique data with each transaction, making fraud and identity theft virtually impossible. With their well known massive data breach of 2013, it is no surprise that Target is one of the larger US retailers that has already implemented EMV card readers across their entire company.
While some small business owners have listed cost as one reason to not adhere to the October 1 deadline, other business owners simply were unaware the change was coming. Now that we are in the summer before the changeover, the coming deadline has many companies scrambling to learn more about the technology, figure out the best solution for their specific needs, and implement training for their employees. Thankfully, there are card processing solution providers out there that are at the ready, wanting to help small, mid, and large sized businesses to come into complete compliance. Many of them are even offering services and solutions that will save businesses money in the process.
There is no reason to feel anxiety with the coming shift in how American companies are expected to conduct business transactions. Though the deadline is only two months away, there are several card processing solutions that will suit your specific business, saving you money while bringing you into EMV compliance. But don’t wait too long!