EMV technology

By Rieva Lesonsky

It’s been six months since the deadline for U.S. merchants that accept payment by debit or credit card to meet the new EMV technology compliance standard for point-of-sale systems. And if this sounds like news to you, you’re not alone.

EMV technology uses chips in credit and debit cards to provide more secure transactions than simply swiping a magnetic strip. Banks started issuing the cards last year, and October 1 was the deadline for merchants to get in the game by upgrading their POS terminals to accept credit and debit cards that use chip technology. But nearly half of retailers haven’t updated any of their payment terminals, reports the 2016 EMV Adoption Survey from credit cards comparison website CardHub.

EMV payment technology provides additional security for credit and debit card transactions, so you’d think that companies who have had data breaches in recent years would be especially eager to use it. However, some 43 percent of retailers that have experienced data breaches in the past 5 years haven’t updated their POS terminals.

Consumers aren’t exactly clamoring for EMV technology. The survey found widespread ignorance regarding the technology: 41 percent of people either don’t have or don’t know if they have a credit or debit card with chip technology. Sixty-two percent don’t know the difference between cards with chips and those without in terms of security protection. And 56 percent don’t care whether or not a retailer’s POS terminal is chip-enabled.

But even if your customers don’t care about EMV technology, you should. Why? Because if your company hasn’t adopted chip-enabled terminals, your business is financially responsible if certain types of credit card fraud take place during a transaction with your business. Essentially, failing to get with the times when it comes to EMV technology is putting your business at risk.

As more big companies complete their migration to EMV-enabled terminals, consumers will become more familiar with this technology, and will grow to expect it from your business. With so many other changes in payment technology happening — such as Apple Pay and other types of mobile wallet technology — now is a good time to be updating your point-of-sale system, anyway. And if you’ve been having any issues with your payment card processor, maybe it’s time to make a clean break and find a new one.

Ask your payment card processor about EMV-enabled terminals that will also work with NFC (near-field communication) payment technology, and you’ll be ahead of the game. (Plus, you won’t have to upgrade again for a while.)

Want to learn more about how chip cards affect your business? You can take this webinar hosted by SCORE to learn more about EMV technology and how it affects your bottom line.