5 Reasons Why You Should Embrace the Switch to EMV

If your business hasn’t begun the process of transitioning to an EMV chip card friendly environment, now is definitely the time to do so. While EMV and contactless payments technologies are new to Americans, they’ve actually been around for quite some time in all the other industrialized countries of the world, and for a good reason. In case you’re not yet convinced of the benefits of switching to chip cards, we’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why this change will benefit your business.

1. Businesses that don’t make the switch will be held liable for fraudulent charges.

The U.S. will take the first step in joining the rest of the world in making the switch to EMV chip card technology on October 1, 2015, when major credit card companies will effect a major liability shift for credit card fraud. What exactly does this shift entail? Well, to put it simply, if your business chooses to continue swiping credit and debit card magstripes the old fashioned way, you will now be held responsible for any fraud that occurs at your business. Pretty big shift, right? Thus, it’s clearly in your best interest as a business owner to prepare yourself and make the change by October 1st.

2. Chip cards will save your customers from credit card fraud.

EMV chip card technology is much securer than storing data on a magstripe, which will help protect your current and potential customers. Chip cards will protect current customers who have already made purchases at your business using a credit card by making incredibly more difficult for hackers to compromise credit card data. Potential customers will also be protected because it is virtually impossible to manufacture a counterfeit chip in the same way fraudsters currently counterfeit magstripes. Magstripe data is not encrypted in the same way data is on an EMV chip, so you’ll be doing your customers a huge favor by making the switch.

3. Your competitors will be switching to chip cards.

Any serious business will undoubtedly make the change to EMV chip card technology by the end of this year. Some of these businesses will be your competitors. As soon as consumers realize that chip cards are more secure and advanced than magstripe cards, they’ll question the legitimacy of any business that still swipes cards instead of reading chips or using contactless pay. If your business is one of these, you may see sales drop as a lack of trust and confidence in your business starts to cause customers to go elsewhere for their needs.

4. Chip cards and (especially) contactless payments speed up the checkout process.

If you’ve ever traveled outside of the U.S. and used a chip card, you may have remarked that, although different and perhaps unusual, paying with a chip card is usually a bit faster than paying with a magstripe card. One convenience of chip cards that should eventually make its way to the U.S. is the use of a PIN with every transactions. The PIN adds an extra layer of security while eliminating the need for a signature (which will unfortunately still be a requirement for U.S. chip cards as the country transitions).

If you really want fast transactions, however, contactless payment is the way to go. Contactless payment uses RFID or NFC technology to allow for the transfer of credit card data without swiping or inserting the card into any machine. Instead, with most machines that accept contactless payment, the customer simply taps one end of their card against the screen of the reader, and the transaction completes in a matter of seconds. Mobile point of sale solutions, such as iConnect POS, Square, and Revel Systems, have already or will be integrating contactless payment as a way of further appealing to merchants and customers.  This form of payment is usually reserved for transactions under $100, and it will likely be awhile before we see its widespread adoption in the U.S. However, it’s definitely something worth looking forward to.

5. Change is inevitable.

If the previous 4 reasons weren’t enough, consider the notion that change is inevitable, especially in the technology-driven of payment processing. Although most chip cards today are still manufactured with a magstripe for swiping when the chip reader is down or unavailable, it’s likely that the magstripe will eventually be phased out altogether at some point down the line. At InspireSmart, we’re already helping businesses to implement mobile payment solutions that take advantage of EMV and contactless payment technologies to ensure that these businesses are ready for what’s to come in the next few decades. It’s no use fighting the transition, and, in fact, you have much more to gain than lose by making the switch to an EMV chip card reader today.