Up Your Game With EMV Technology For Your Small Business
If you own or manage a small business, even a sole proprietorship, you may be on the lookout for ways to compete with larger companies or chains in your industry. One of the best ways to stay on top is to incorporate credit card fraud security with EMV technology, which protects both you and your customers. Here's a look at what this means for you and why EMV security is big news lately.
What is EMV technology anyway?
EMV stands for "Europay, MasterCard, and Visa," which another name for microchipped credit and debit cards, also known as "pin-and-chip" technology. These new credit and debit cards come with an additional layer of security in the form of a microchip, rather than just the traditional electronic strip on the back by the signature line.
This type of credit and debit card technology has been in use for a while in Europe (hence its name) and select other locations. It makes data from these cards harder to steal, and it makes it more difficult to use these cards illegally.
Why are EMV cards in the news today?
The United States was slow to adopt this technology, and unfortunately waited until the horse was out of the barn, so to speak, before mandating a migration to EMV cards. Several large data breaches, where millions of customers had their financial and identification information stolen, drove new legislation to require businesses to accept EMV cards.
Starting in October of 2015, if a customer is the victim of fraudulent credit or debit card activity, the responsibility for that fraud lies with whichever party is the least EMV compliant in the given situation, whether that's a business, a bank, or the card issuer themselves. This means that when a bank or credit card company gives a customer a microchipped credit or debit card, and you don't have the capacity to read it, if the customer is defrauded via your data system, the financial and legal consequences lie with your business.
What are the benefits of EMV card readers?
Given the potential consequences of not being able to take EMV cards at your point of sale, it only makes sense to embrace the technology. Not only can you now get conventional retail credit and debit card readers that will recognize microchips, but you can use this technology for more mobile point-of-sale transactions too. Popular applications like Square that allow you to take credit and debit cards with your smartphone have followed suit with brick-and-mortar businesses to integrate EMV technology into its process. This is a huge convenience for small businesses that don't have a permanent location or that do a large number of transactions on the road (think mobile dog groomers, food carts, etc.).
Taking on EMV technology also makes you look good to your customers. When you demonstrate that you have their security in mind, you become a more trustworthy enterprise for them to patronize.
To find out more about how you can add EMV card reading to your business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is a great place to start. Through them, you can find more information about EMV laws and links to webinars making it easy to add this layer of security to benefit both you and your clients.