Will businesses be ready for the EMV liability shift?
April 29, 2015

With fewer than six months left until the EMV liability shift, many businesses still need to make a plan for how they will implement new technology. For some retailers, the EMV transition will mean upgrading their credit card processing software. Although many businesses have requested a delay in the deadline, the transition is moving forward. Some card issuers have already sent customers new EMV chip cards, but merchants still must install new point-of-sale terminals.

The transition was announced in 2012, giving retailers three years to prepare and implement new technology. EMV credit and debit cards in the U.S. will be different from the ones used in Canada and the U.K. The U.S. will utilize signatures as authentication rather than the PIN that typically accompanies EMV transactions in other countries, according to Mobile Payments Today. However, the PIN method is viewed as a more secure form of verification.

What should retailers be doing now to prepare?
Many payment processors are working with customers to roll out technology and software upgrades in time to meet the deadline. Some merchants are hesitant to update their POS hardware now because they are concerned card issuers won't release EMV cards in time. However, most financial institutions are on track to issue new cards ahead of the deadline. Although the EMV shift has many moving pieces, retailers need to start preparing now because it can take a few months to implement new POS hardware.

Even though small businesses did not prioritize the EMV shift, more owners are getting involved, especially as they learn more about the risks of not switching to EMV. Companies will be liable for any fraudulent transactions they process, which could put a small retailer out of business.

EMV offers better protection
Unlike traditional POS systems, EMV hardware allows merchants to process payments without the credit card ever leaving the customer's hand, which can help them feel more secure and confident that their financial information will stay safe.

Many merchants have been victims of fraud or data breaches in the past few years, and these risks have been growing over time as hackers implement more sophisticated means of entering internal systems. EMV will help protect businesses and consumers by adding another layer of encryption to transactions, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to intercept payment card data. Companies that switch to EMV systems can enhance their reputation with customers.

Nexus: G-WEBCD1