The countdown is on for merchants across the USA, to October 1, 2015.  What happens on this date?  Well, that is the deadline for all merchants to be in compliance with the new EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) requirements for Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, or face liability for all fraudulent charges.

Yes, that’s not an error.  Businesses who do not update their POS systems to accept EMV-chipped cards will – as of October 1, 2015 – now be liable for all fraudulent charges resulting from the use of magnetic stripe card data.  The credit card companies must be rejoicing somewhere.

credit-card-readerWhile this deadline seems harsh, the fact of the matter is that the United States has been severely lacking in adopting this technology, which has been in use for years in Europe as well as Canada.  The main reason why we as a nation have been lax in this matter is due to the simple fact of cost.  It has never cost merchants a penny in regards to fraudulent charges, as the credit card companies were responsible previously.  Additionally, consumers in the US have not cared, as they typically will get fraudulent charges reversed upon discovery.  Now however, with merchants finally facing the financial liability that comes with fraudulent charges, it stands to reason that they will be effectively motivated to switch to a safer alternative card system.

Many consumers don’t realize what these cards to, and the simple fact that EMV cards are a much more secure alternative to mag-stripe cards.  As they require the two-factor authentication process, either a PIN or a signature, these cards are not susceptible to scams, and the chips themselves cannot be cloned.  There are still issues with online purchases, but the credit card companies are already working to resolve these issues before they become a concern.

If your business is in need of an updated, or more modern POS system, it could be time to consider looking in to a system that has EMV capabilities, in order to save yourself time and hassle before October 1.  If that’s not the case, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to reach out to your current POS vendor and discuss what your options are, before the deadline creeps any closer.