As of today, merchants and retailers have about seven weeks to upgrade to the new EMV chip card readers for their POS systems. Major retailers such as Target and Walmart are leading the pack with EMV chip card readers installed and active at a majority of their locations. Lowe’s has installed the technology, but the readers are not yet online at many of their stores. Unfortunately, smaller retailers are lagging behind. In fact, many retailers aren’t even aware of the deadline or the implications surrounding the new standards. This fact begs the question: do you understand the risks for your business?
Retailers generally seem unprepared for the changes according to this article on eMarketer:
The EMV migration deadline is only nine months away, and according to a survey ACI Worldwide conducted at the National Retail Federation’s January 2015 convention and expo, 55% of retailers were still not fully prepared for that October deadline. Of the survey’s respondents, 14% said they still had work to do, 19% weren’t at all prepared for the change, and 22% were still evaluating their options before making any big moves.
The lack of understanding and seeming indifference toward this change may come back to bite many smaller retailers and merchants. The cost of the EMV chip technology was initially a barrier for smaller businesses. However, several companies have stepped forward with lower cost options. Evolve Systems is working with our clients of every size business to get affordable EMV chip technology installed before the deadline.
Risk for every retailer and merchant
The new standards that take effect on October 1st will turn credit card fraud liability over to you, the merchant. If you are not using payment processing terminals capable of reading the new EMV chip cards, you become liable for fraudulent transactions associated with the chip-carrying credit or debit cards. Regardless of your industry or the size of your business, you will be liable. The big retailers have wisely jumped ahead to protect themselves. But as a smaller business your risk is just as significant. A fraudulent transaction may be financially painful for a big retailer, but for a smaller company, it could turn out to be devastating.
Seven weeks to go
The good news is that October 1st is still seven weeks away. Even if you miss the actual deadline you can still accept EMV chip cards with your current magnetic stripe reader. However, as the deadline draws near and more merchants become aware of the risks, we anticipate becoming very busy with terminal and technology upgrades. We recommend getting on the schedule now to ensure that you get the equipment you need.
We’ll be checking in on this topic regularly for the next seven weeks. Stay tuned. And be sure to give us a call to get your upgrade scheduled.