Is Your Point of Sale System Up to Date?

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If your small business accepts credit and debit card payments, then you probably know that October 1 was the deadline for U.S. merchants to upgrade their payment terminals to accept credit and debit cards that use chip technology.

Even though the deadline was over six months ago, nearly half of retailers haven’t updated any of their payment terminals, reports the 2016 EMV Adoption Survey from credit cards comparison website CardHub.

EMV payment technology provides additional security for credit and debit card transactions, so you’d think companies that have had data breaches in recent years would be especially eager to use it. However, some 43% of retailers that have experienced data breaches in the past 5 years haven’t updated their POS terminals.

Consumers aren’t exactly clamoring for EMV technology. The survey found widespread ignorance about the technology: 41 percent of people either don’t have or don’t know if they have a credit or debit card with chip technology. Sixty-two percent don’t know the difference between cards with chips and those without in terms of security protection. Fifty-six percent don’t care whether or not a retailer’s POS terminal is chip-enabled.

But even if your customers don’t care about EMV technology, you should. Why?

Because if your company hasn’t adopted chip-enabled terminals, your business is financially responsible if certain types of credit card fraud take place during a transaction with your business. Essentially, failing to get with the times when it comes to EMV technology is putting your business at risk.

As more big companies complete their migration to EMV-enabled terminals, consumers will become more familiar with this technology and will grow to expect it from your business. With so many other changes in payment technology happening — such as Apple Pay and other types of mobile wallet technology — now is a good time to be updating your point-of-sale system anyway. And if you’ve been having any issues with your payment card processor, maybe it’s time to make a clean break and find a new one.

Ask your payment card processor about EMV-enabled terminals that will also work with NFC (near-field communication) payment technology, and you’ll be ahead of the game. (Plus, you won’t have to upgrade again for a while.)

Want to learn more about how chip cards affect your business? You can take this webinar hosted by SCORE to learn more about chip technology and how it affects your bottom line. Or talk to your SCORE mentor for help. Visit to get matched with a mentor and get free advice anytime.

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SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.