Make sure your point-of-sale system includes hardware that can process EMV chips.

Does your store’s payment-processing hardware have a handwritten sign sticking out of the chip-card reader insert that says, “Chip coming soon?”

Chip cards, the most recent development in secure payment-processing technology, make it harder for counterfeiters to forge credit cards. For this reason alone, should your point of sale (POS) hardware and software process EMV technology?

Without doubt, rising credit card theft and fraudulent purchases were the catalyst for the development of EMV technology. Banks and credit card issuers wanted to reduce their liability for chargebacks.

And because of this, the cost of upgrading your POS and/or payment-processing hardware is now being passed on to you, dear small business owner.

However, there’s really not much that can be done about this. You should bite the bullet and upgrade your POS. Hopefully, your profit margins are large enough that an upgrade won’t be felt much. But the money you’ll save on fraudulent chargebacks will likely pay for itself in the long run.

If you’re a self-styled rebel or think that the chips contain secret listening devices, perhaps you’ll be tempted to stick with antiquated swipe card technology. Chip card readers be damned! After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Here’s the problem with this rhetorical question:

EMV Compliance Law

If your shop doesn’t yet process chip payments, major credit card companies have been wanting you to do so for at least three years. MasterCard, Visa, etc. requested that all merchants be able to process chip card payments as of October 1, 2015. In fact, the credit card titans referred to this date as a compliance deadline. (With the exception of gas stations, for which the EMV compliance deadline is October 1, 2020).

If you’re still not in compliance with this deadline, are you in jeopardy of facing hefty fines? The good news is that you, as of right now, at least, will not face any punitive damage. However, if fraudulent purchases are made in your store, you will likely be on the hook for chargebacks; the credit card issuer or bank won’t be.

The reason why is credit cards without chips are much easier to counterfeit. Transactions with a magnetic stripe card yield the same transaction code each time the card is used. In comparison, purchases made with EMV chip cards are encrypted with a unique transaction code for every purchase.

This is why it takes longer for transactions to be processed with chip cards. While an extra 10 seconds or so might seem like an eternity, especially if your store has long lines at times, isn’t it worth the extra security for reducing fraudulent transactions?

EMV Payment Processing: Shopping With Confidence

Although EMV technology mostly shields banks and credit card companies from liability, many consumers will feel more confident making purchases if your business processes chip payments. And while your employees are waiting for that eternal extra 10 seconds for the chip to generate a unique encryption code, they can use that time to get to know your customers a little better. During cash register training for new employees, your new hires can be trained to ask customers how their day is going during the time it takes to process the transaction. This will distract customers from the very minor inconvenience of using the new credit card technology.

Need to upgrade your POS? Might as well do so to a best-in-class system. Contact us today for a demonstration.

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