The United States is finally implementing important safeguards for credit cards and that means entrepreneurs and small businesses that handle customer information, and those that use credit card processing companies, need to get up to speed.
EMV chip technology is a major upgrade from the current magnetic strip most American credit cards use, allowing increased payment options to consumers, better protection and encrypted services, and easier access to personal finances. Magnetic strips were easy to copy and the information on the card is actually quite easily accessible, whereas the EMV chips are nearly impossible to replicate and offer an added layer of security to sensitive data. Where EMV chips have been implemented, such as Europe and Asia, credit card fraud has dropped as well, and losses from card skimmers also dropped.
But there’s one major thing holding back these advances in consumer protection: slow adopters. To increase the security for your consumers, both big and small businesses alike will need to upgrade to new POS terminal devices that are EMV compliant. It might require a little more time to read, but these need upgrades need to happen for everyone’s monetary safety.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll need to do a couple things in order to become completely EMV compliant.
EMV is the new law of the land, so get with the times! The sooner you adopt, the sooner you can protect yourself and your customers. It can also be cheaper sometimes to adopt sooner. Often, companies related to the credit card industry are willing to offer deals for early adopters and the government might even offer you rebates or discounts for taking early steps to protect yourself and customers from fraud. Additionally, it paves the way for you to accept these payments in the future, which means you won’t lose out on sales because you can’t accept a customer’s new-fangled card.
The majority of people will have to adopt by the end of 2015 and all automated devices will have to be switched over by 2017. Meeting these goals will ensure you won’t have to pay a liability cost also. It might be a little painful financially, but like ripping off a bandaid it’s best done quickly!
2. Tell your consumers about any updates or changes in policy.
If you are an online business, obviously you won’t have to handle all these credit card issues, but your credit card processor will. As the processors update, their terms and conditions will also update and your customers will need to be informed immediately, Always keep your customers informed about any updates, and it’s never a bad idea to offer information or educational resources to your consumers in the case of hacking or hijacking or service issues.
3. Upgrade your POS terminals
EMV compliant POS terminals aren’t that expensive. There’s some new technology, and they won’t be cheap – new terminals run between $49 and $99 – but the price of not upgrading is far steeper.
The big issue is making sure that you are only upgrading to the terminals that you actually need. For example, if a terminal offers a service for multiple types of payment but your processor can only handle a certain type, then it wouldn’t be right to spent extra money on services you aren’t going to use. Additionally, some terminals will not accept older cards. These are issues you need to look into before making a choice. Discuss these with your credit card processor before you make any decisions.
Research is always the best weapon a person has against mistakes. Making informed decisions and taking time to formulate plans pays off in the end.
The EMV chip is the new American standard. With greatly improved security, it should find wide adoption, quickly. Make sure your business isn’t caught in the past and use these tips to get EMV compliant.
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