Small businesses lag in EMV preparedness

Most small business retailers are not prepped to accept chip-enabled credit and debit cards, with just 31 percent having systems that are EMV chip card technology friendly, according to a new report from Wells Fargo.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report, which surveyed small business owners in early July, reports that less than half, 49 percent, who do take POS card payments are aware of the impending EMV liability shift arriving in October. As of October 1 retailers and merchants whose POS system does not support such cards will be held liable for fraudulent POS transactions.

The chip technology is being adopted to avoid that scenario, according to announcement on the report. The cards are made to stop possible fraud as they encode cardholder info in an encrypted chip and data changes with each transaction. Card companies are issuing the new chips and on the business end merchants are required to convert to new card readers or integrate EMV capability into exiting magnetic stripe card reader terminals.

The report reveals that 29 percent of business owners intend to switch and become compliant before the October 1 deadlines, but 21 percent have no intention of upgrading to compliance.

 "While our industry has made great progress in the last year informing and preparing small business owners for the EMV liability shift, the survey findings show us that we have more work to do," said Debra Rossi, head of Wells Fargo Merchant Services, in a press release.

Top  reasons business owners cited in not planning to upgrade include the belief that they don’t want to pay the associated costs, aren’t concerned about the liability shift and do not believe the technology will impact their business.

One reason may be, according to the release, is that debit and credit cards still lag way behind cash and check payments.

Topics: Contactless / NFC, EMV, Restaurants, Retail, Security, Trends / Statistics

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