Why SMBs Still Aren’t Ready for the EMV Credit Card Switch

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    The October deadline for companies to begin accepting EMV-chip based credit cards will be here in only four months, but a new study presents some startling statistics. Despite being aware of the EMV upgrade and knowing that after the October date, they could incur liabilities from payment fraud, more than half of SMBs surveyed have not committed to accepting the new card format, according to a survey by Intuit.

    Forty-two percent of those surveyed “haven’t even heard of the upcoming October liability shift deadline,” reports PaymentWeek. Businesses won’t be forced to accept the EMV cards, but without the EMV card readers, any payment fraud that occurs at the point of sale will be the responsibility of the company making the sale. The main reason that businesses gave (57 percent) for not accepting the new card format is that the cost to upgrade POS terminals and card readers is too great.

    For many businesses, equipment and software updates to receive EMV card payments can cost hundreds up to thousands of dollars, depending on the type of POS systems they are using. For those businesses, Philip Andreae, vice president at Oberthur Technologies, a digital security company, told NerdWallet that there may be other options:

    Other businesses, however, have much more complicated systems that are more difficult to update, Andreae says. Those business owners should talk with their credit card processors, as well as their terminal hardware and software vendors, about their options for updating to EMV technology, he says.

    For smaller businesses that use simple card readers such as those from Square or PayPal, it can be as simple as ordering an updated card reader. The new Square EMV reader costs only $29 and Intuit QuickBooks has one for $30, as well.

    The point of switching to the new EMV card technology is to reduce credit card fraud. Although SMBs should weigh the cost of upgrading to the EMV terminals and readers against the possible cost of payment fraud, the business owner should realize that in the long run, adopting the new technology will win out. Even those with small revenues should consider the benefits of EMV that PointofSale News identified:

    • Increased customer security
    • Fewer fraud disputes
    • A large drop in chargebacks from counterfeit or stolen credit cards
    • Higher confidence in consumers who shop when the SMB provides the same card security as larger retailers

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