It has been 17 months since retailers were asked to upgrade their point of sales systems to accept EMV enabled credit cards. The benefits of the EMV chip card are numerous, making information harder to steal, lessening the ability for fraudulent sales and hacking. In fact, right now, only 58% of eligible business have made the switch to the new terminals.
Well some merchants purchased payment terminals two or three years ago and are not willing to invest in new terminals. Yes if you lease them they will cost a bit more over the course of a lease, but we are talking about $400 dollars for a basic terminal that can run most businesses. The Mom and Pop shops have invested in a perfectly good terminal that they will probably get another 10 years out of, and in their mind, why should I spend that kind of money when the odds of me getting a fraudulent card are very slim.
And hardware is not the only stopping block. There are many chip enabled terminals that are in place across the country that do not take the chip cards. Why? Because they do not have the programming and software installed to be able to accept the new chip cards. Taking the chip card is a 2 part process for the merchant. First, the merchant must load the newly developed software from a third party to allow the terminal to accept EMV chips. The second process is the certification process that each of the card networks need the merchant to go through. This is coordinated by the merchants acquiring bank. This que to be certified has been very long with weeks waits for merchants.
The third issue that merchants are dealing with the new EMV terminals is the time of transaction. You have probably noticed, these terminals can be a little cumbersome, and clumsy. People pulling their cards out too soon is a common problem. Time of transaction is another issue. EMV transactions are typically 3-5 times longer than a traditional mag stripe card. In a high volume business, this translates to slower sales and lost volume.
But not being compliant has its risks. The biggest risk is being responsible for fraudulent transactions. If your business processes a mag stripe card that is stolen or counterfeit, your business can and will be responsible for the amount stolen, not the banks as it has been in the past. For some merchants, this can amount to 1000’s of dollars for one transaction. Is that worth the wait?
Emv chips and processing is here to stay. It is both the norm and the future of credit card processing. If you are not part of the EMV world, do you really want to take that risk? It is time to take the steps to become compliant.