On Oct. 1, 2015, all businesses will be required to adhere to the new credit and debit card processing security standards outlined by the Payment Card industry Data Security Standards. The new standards are contingent with the security specifications developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa. The EMV conversion has already happened for many payment processing companies, but most small businesses have not yet switched over to the new technology, according to CreditCards.com.
Outside of the U.S., EMV technology is commonplace. CreditCards.com reported that over 80 percent of cards have the EMV chip, which adds more layers of security. Also, 95 percent of card readers outside the U.S. are equipped to read the cards. American businesses and banks have been slow to adopt the new technology. In 2012 Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express all announced the addition of EMV technology in the U.S., but banks haven't issued the cards with urgency. In 2013, only 20 million of the 1.2 billion cards in U.S. circulation were replaced by cards with the new security measures. By the end of 2015 the amount of cards with EMV chips in the U.S. is expected to be somewhere around 50 percent, according to CreditCards.com.
Because the new cards were not issued as fast as expected, many businesses haven't implemented the new technology. The new cards can still be scanned on old payment processing tech. This will change in October, because of the way fraudulent transactions are handled is different once EMV technology is in place. Still, many small businesses might not make the switch in time. This means they will be in noncompliance and responsible for fraud losses.
What are the costs for businesses?
The cost of the new technology is high, but the cost of noncompliance could be even higher. The Oct. 1 deadline on also marks what is being called a liability shift.
"It's named as such because it denotes a change regarding who pays when certain bad thing happen," Eric Dunn, senior vice president of payments and commerce solutions at Intuit, told Entrepreneur.
If a business hasn't switched over to EMV technology and a fraudulent payment is made, the business is responsible for the money. Currently, the bank that issued the card pays money when fraud happens. Because of this shift in liability, businesses should switch their card processors over. This, however, can be expensive. Credit card processors and point of sale systems with the new technology can cost several hundred dollars per station, which will quickly add up. Many small businesses can't incur that kind of cost. Luckily, some card processing companies are offering discounts on the technology if the business signs a payment processing contract for a few years. Although the switch to EMV systems is voluntary, the risks of not implementing the technology basically make it impossible not to.
"There are tangible benefits to being an early adopter and having that behind you and knowing it's done," Steve Mathison, vice president of payment acceptance with payment processor First Data, told CreditCards.com.
The new technology will also be equipped to handle mobile payments, allowing customers to utilize Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other similar applications. This provides business owners with another incentive to switch over.
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