As EMV deadline approaches, small business owners in the US are not prepared

September 2015
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Most small business owners in the US do not even know about the impending EMV liability shift coming in October 2015, a recent survey unveils.

According to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, less than half (49%) of small business owners who accept point-of-sale card payments today report being aware of the October 1st liability shift. That happens when a card issuer or merchant that does not support EMV-chip card technology will assume liability for any fraudulent point-of-sale card transactions.

However, among business owners who report accepting point-of-sale card payments, only 31% say that their existing credit card processing system accepts chip-enabled cards. When asked if they plan to upgrade their point-of-sale credit card terminals to accept EMV chip cards, just 29% of business owners said they intend to make the change before the deadline. Another 34% of business owners reported they will at some point in the future after October 2015.

Some of the reasons business owners said they do not plan to swap their terminals before October include: 48% feel that upgrading their payment terminal will not impact their business, 46% do not want to pay for the costs associated with upgrading and41% are not concerned about the liability shift in the case of fraud. The survey shows business owners also are divided about whether the liability shift will reduce fraud for businesses, the main objective of EMV chip-enabled cards. 42% feel it will improve protection from fraud, and 42% feel it will not improve protection from fraud.

When asked about the type of payments their business 94% of small business owners say they accept check or cash as a method of payment. Also, 41% of business owners surveyed accept debit card payments and 35% accept point-of-sale credit card payments and 15% of small business owners surveyed take payments in-person via a mobile-enabled credit card reader. 25% of business owners surveyed accept payments online via credit card and 19% accept online payments through a payment provider such as PayPal or Google Checkout.

© Peter Bernik/