Consumers either already have or will soon receive new credit and debit cards with EMV chip technology. The new technology is designed to reduce fraud and keep consumer information safer than it was before. The EMV chip is basically a computer chip with the customer's account information on it. When a transaction is made, the chip encrypts the payment data, making debit and credit cards much more secure.
While many consumers are already set up with the new technology, many U.S. merchants have yet to get the card reader that allows them to utilize these new cards. This leaves the merchants open to liability for fraudulent charges. When the new liability rule went into effect in the U.S. on Oct. 1, Fox 31 Denver noted only 30 percent of merchants had implemented the new technology. The cost of the equipment is the leading cause for the delay from merchants. However, some merchants reported they just haven't received or been able to install the new equipment.
"I ordered the Square chip reader a while ago and I keep getting emails from them saying they don't have it available yet," Kristi Walstra, owner of Starlet, a women's clothing store, told Fox 31 Denver.
Square merchants who ordered the new technology and haven't received it will not be held liable for any fraudulent charges until the equipment arrives.
Merchants should switch, but they don't have to
There is no law requiring merchants to switch to the new card reading equipment. No one is going to come out and fine a merchant for not implementing the technology. And because only 6 out of 10 cardholders have received their new cards, according to Fox 31 Denver, many merchants may take the chance for a while.
Although merchants don't technically have to switch to the new card readers, they really should, according to Merchant Maverick. All major card companies including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Amex and Discover are a part of the liability shift. Now that October is here, point of sale systems that aren't updated could cost a merchant dearly.
Merchant Maverick reported that each new card reader will cost a few hundred dollars. This expense can end up costing a store with multiple payment terminals a lot of money. However, that upfront cost will keep merchants completely safe, allowing them to rest easy.