Small Businesses Are Not Ready to Accept EMV Cards

August 7, 2015, Written By John H. Oldshue
Woman pay by credit card in store
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Many small businesses in America are not prepared to switch to EMV card technology by the October 2015 deadline, according to a new survey from Wells Fargo and Gallup.

The survey asked 600 business owners about plans to upgrade their credit card processing systems, and only 29% said they would do so before the deadline.

For business owners who were not planning to switch before the deadline, a large potion simply did not know about the changes. 34% said they would transition at some point in the future but just not before the deadline, while 21% said they would never switch. 16% of respondents said they were unaware of the chip-enabled systems to come.

The business owners were also asked why they were not planning to upgrade before the deadline. 48% said it would not impact their business, and 46% did not want to pay for an EMV terminal. 41% were not concerned about being held liable for charges, and 36% did not believe that the shift was fair for businesses.

Adjusting to change is difficult for anyone, especially small business owners with limited budgets. Nevertheless, the Wells Fargo survey revealed just how many businesses are unprepared for the changes to come.

“While our industry has made great progress in the last year informing and preparing small business owners for the EMV liability shift, the survey findings show us that we have more work to do,” said Debra Rossi, head of Merchant Services at Wells Fargo, in a statement.

The results are very similar to a recent survey of C-suite executives (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer) by Randstad Technologies. That survey revealed 42% of decision makers have no plans for switching to EMV technology at this time, and 58% of the businesses said the liability risks to come after the deadline “will have limited or no impact on their company’s bottom line.”

If you are a small business owner avoiding the switch, there are several free EMV terminals and low-cost upgrades to explore. Contact your current payment processor to ask what can be done to make your register or mobile card reader compatible with chip-and-PIN credit cards.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 7, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.