Businesses Slow to Update Credit-Card Tech
Did your credit-card-carrying customers dip their cards when they bought their dog food at your store this weekend, or did they swipe and sign?
So, did your credit-card-carrying customers dip their cards when they bought their dog food at your store this weekend, or did they swipe and sign? The answer could have significant implications for your business. However, retailers that have yet to convert to the new chip-enabled technology are not alone—and they may not even be in the minority.
In the days leading up to the Oct. 1 deadline that the credit-card industry imposed on retailers for installing the new chip-equipped-card readers, news media outlets nationwide reported that many small businesses were unprepared for the switch. In fact, according to a USA Today article published on Sept. 1, a survey from management consultant firm the Strawhecker Group revealed that only 27 percent of U.S. merchants would meet the deadline.
Credit card providers themselves are not all up to date on the technology. Many consumers have not even received chip-enabled cards to replace the ones currently residing in their wallets. Deadline, schmedline.
The reality is that even for retailers, no one is issuing any go-straight-to-jail cards for having failed to convert by the first of the month. But retailers that ignore the mandate do so at their own peril, as stores that do not accept the new security-fortified, chip-bearing credit cards may be held accountable by credit card companies—Europay, MasterCard and Visa—for fraudulent charges.
Change is never easy. There are a number of reasons why retailers may not have yet updated their POS systems to comply. Some store owners and managers don’t understand why the change is necessary, and a few may be just plain unaware. [One shop manager told the Athens Banner-Herald, a newspaper in Georgia, that he didn’t even know about the new mandate.]
So surely, getting everyone on board is going to take awhile. Still, the sooner, the better, in this case.
For more information, check out our coverage of the topic here, where we lay out the ins and outs behind the conversion.
Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a wealth of information to offer on the topic and will even be hosting a webinar on the new technology for small businesses next week.