When it comes to plastic and customer payments, change is underway. Starting in October, if your storage facility doesn’t support EMV chip card technology, you could be liable for any fraudulent point-of-sale card transactions.
And if “EMV migration” and “chip card technology” don’t sound familiar, you’re not alone.
Just under half, or 49 percent, of small business owners who accept point-of-sale card payments reported they were aware of the October 1st liability shift, according to a Wells Fargo survey released in early August.
“While the minor inconvenience of a mandated switch may be present, the benefits of doing so are unquestionable,” noted Kevin Kerr, marketing and sales coordinator at Storage Commander. “The EMV payment system gives us additional protection against data breaches and fraud during a time of rising cyber-crime.”
Follow these guidelines to get your storage facility EMV ready.
1. Understand what EMV is.
EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. It refers to a security standard for credit and debit cards. An EMV chip card has an embedded microchip in it. Instead of swiping the card to make a purchase, a customer puts the card into a terminal that can read the chip.
During the transaction, the terminal asks the customer for a signature or to enter a PIN.
Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the information on a chip changes with every transaction. This makes it much more difficult for criminals to copy than magnetic stripe cards.
In the past, payment processing firms usually covered fraudulent transactions on credit and debit cards. Starting October 1st, however, those that do not support the EMV technology might have to take the loss for fraudulent transactions.
2. Know what you have.
Do you have a simple card terminal, or are your credit card payments integrated with your POS software?
Take some time to go over your current payment setup. As you do so, make a list of what you have. Since EMV is not a one-size-fits-all change, you’ll want to compare the items you have with what you’ll need to install.
3. Ask about your options.
If credit card payments are integrated with your POS software, call the POS vendor and ask for specific recommendations for upgrading, suggested Sushil da Silva, cofounder of Highline Software, which provides POS systems to small businesses and has been rolling out EMV and Apple Pay solutions to its partners this year.
If you have a card terminal that doesn’t currently support EMV chip cards, you’ll likely need to get one that does. You might also be able to get one that accepts contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet.
“The cost will vary depending on the merchant processor used and the EMV-ready equipment that is available for each of these processors,” noted Kerr.
4. Get ready to help others.
Once you have what you need to support EMV, you’ll want to walk employees through the process. In most cases, you’ll need to enter the EMV transaction amount into a terminal before the card is placed into it. Also, EMV cards are generally inserted chip-side up and chip-first into the terminal.
During the transaction, an EMV card must remain in the terminal for the entire process. If the card is pulled out before the transaction is completed, the transaction will be cancelled.
You may need to help customers remember to insert the card into the terminal, enter a PIN or signature, and take out their cards when the transaction is over.