Your Small Business is in the Majority if You Know Nothing About EMV

As a small business merchant, which half are you in:

The half (43 percent) who actually knows what EMV is? Or the other (57 percent) who thinks “EM what?”

According to a recent survey by Capital One, many small business owners are still not familiar with chip cards or EMV technology. Other findings include:

  • Of the 43 percent familiar with EMV credit cards, only 34 percent currently accept them as a form of payment.
  • Fifty-four percent of small business owners who are familiar with the technology are unaware of rules that could make businesses liable for fraudulent charges.

A Wells Fargo survey (conducted a month earlier) uncovered even starker numbers, finding that only 32 percent of small business owners are aware of the changes!

Further, the same survey finds that those who are aware aren’t exactly rushing to make the switch.

“It appears that a majority of small-business owners who accept credit cards but who do not have chip-enabled technology — about seven in 10 — are, at this point, in no rush to comply,” the Wells Fargo report states.

EMV 411

If you are in the majority half, let us summarize the basics for you:

As of Oct. 1, 2015, merchants could be liable for costs in fraud cases in which a chip card was used in a traditional magstripe reader. The banks used to cover these charges. Now, it’s up to you — the merchant — whether you want to incur the costs associated with (the unlikely risk of) a breach.

Unlike traditional cards, chip cards contain computer chips that create unique codes for each transaction – better protecting consumers and merchants by reducing the likelihood of fraud. In other words, that unique code is useless if stolen.

To accept these chip-enabled payments, you need an EMV card reader and an EMV “gateway” service from a third party. These readers have slots to dip chip cards into. They also have separate slots for swiping older magstripe cards.

What The Sidewalk is doing about it

As a small business merchant, you’ve got a gazillion other things to do than research technology trends. According to the previously mentioned Capital One survey, small businesses are struggling to keep up with the pace of rapidly changing technology. Sixteen percent of respondents said finding the right software or technology was a top challenge.

That’s why we’re providing these educational posts about EMV on The Sidewalk. Up next week: Wy EMV offers better security.

In the meantime, if you have questions about EMV, comment below or call an NCR Silver POS system advocate at 877-630-9711.

Related post: Is your payment technology in the tape age?

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