You’ve heard of the gradual shift from cards sporting magnetic strips to EMV chips, but wonder if there’s any real rush. The fact is that this technology, named after EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa, is quickly becoming the norm. Along with keeping up with the times, the importance of being EMV compliant also extends to protecting you and your small business. Here are a few things you need to know.
There’s a good chance that your current setup will process the cards, but you and your staff may have to take a few extra steps to complete the transaction. That may not seem like a big deal, but think of how many credit and debit card transactions your business processes daily. Those extra seconds here and there can add up to a lot of time by the end of the average workday. In terms of productivity, making sure your employees have what they need to process transactions quickly is in your best interests.
At the end of 2015, your scope of coverage against credit card fraud changed. Unless your point of sale system is capable of processing cards with the EMV chips, you will end up taking a hit on any fraudulent use of cards that occur in your place of business. Think of what that could mean, especially if it takes some time for the card issuer to detect the fraudulent use and deactivate the card.
The only way to protect yourself is to find out what must be done to upgrade your current POS system. Depending on the system design, your provider may need to install new software. At other times, you may need a new terminal along with updated software. While it may seem like a waste to let go of a terminal that’s working fine, see the upgrade as a form of insurance for you and your business.
Updating to EMV software is also a good time to take a fresh look at how you protect yourself and your clients. As part of the upgrade, you may find that adding a few other features would make it more difficult for anyone to engage in what’s known as skimming. Skimming is the illegal act of a third party capturing card data during or after a transaction is completed. Some additional upgrades will protect you and your customers from this type of theft.
As long as there’s the need to update your terminal, why not see if you can also update other aspects of your payment technology? For example, can you currently process payments using a smartphone or a tablet? If not, now would be a good time to ensure the new terminal includes that capability.
Even if you don’t anticipate using a phone or tablet to process a transaction in the store, consider what it would mean if you choose to set up a booth at a local trade show or festival. Being able to use the remote link and process purchases using a tablet is much easier than having to disconnect a system in the store and lug it to the event.
Even if you think your current setup is fine, it never hurts to get a second opinion. Talk with your service provider and explore what becoming EMV compliant would do for you and for your business. After hearing more about the benefits, it won’t be hard to develop a timeline for making all the necessary changes.