Are you ready for the upcoming EMV deadline and liability shift? Businesses need to be ready by October 2015 to process this new chip-embedded credit card. We have been talking about the switch to EMV chip credit cards for several months, as has the rest of the payment processing and finance industries. Although this measure will make credit cards extremely difficult to counterfeit and POS hacking effectively useless, it is still slow in the uptake among many small business owners in the U.S.

The most surprising thing about the change to EMV chips is how many small business owners still don’t know about it or about the consequences of not being compliant. After the October EMV deadline, any business that is not prepared to accept EMV chips will be held liable for any fraud that results from that. The EMV chip-enabled cards will still have the standard magnetic strip on the back so it can be swiped through a card reader like the regular credit cards we are used to. However, the swipe will still be wildly insecure in comparison to a purchase with the chip and that risk falls on the small business owner.

In April 2015, reports showed that 48 percent of small business in the United States were not aware that they were required to switch to EMV and only 42 percent had already considered the transition. Many reasons were cited for hesitation, including cost. Experts agree that in the long-term, which business owners must always consider when making major decisions, EMV is the most risk-averse solution, which means it will save you money.

Not switching to an EMV solution leaves your business vulnerable to increased cyber attacks. When all of your competitors invest in an EMV chip reader, hackers are going to be looking for the few remaining targets. The federal government has also mandated that businesses will be held financially responsible for fraud that results from a cyber attack if EMV is not used.

Investing in a solution ahead of the EMV deadline is a bit like buying insurance. Yes, your business can operate without it. However, one moment of bad luck could end up costing your business big and even shutting it down. Can you afford damages caused by a hacker? It’s better not to find out and get the required technology. This is a great time to make your business up-to-date and technologically sound, to bring it to the 21st century.

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