If you accept credit card payments for your window cleaning business or other small business, you need to be aware of a new law that will change the way you process these payments by the end of the year. By October of 2015, all credit card companies, banks, retailers, and merchants from the United States will have to transition from magnetic strip credit cards to EMV or chip-and-PIN credit cards. In the guide below, we will explain why this change has come about and what you can do to better prepare for it.
EMV cards are a standard in Europe that are considered far more secure than the traditional magnetic strip cards currently used in the United States. These cards come equipped with a special microchip that is extremely difficult to duplicate, thus making it harder to steal than magnetic strip information. EMV technology is often referred to as chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature technology because of the microchip used on the card. This is combined with a person’s PIN or signature for identity verification.
In an effort to minimize credit card fraud in the United States, the government is requiring credit card companies and businesses that accept credit cards to make the switch to EMV technology. The deadline is set for October of this year, and you need to be ready for it.
There are several ways you can make the switch to chip-and-PIN credit card processing before the deadline. Essentially all you have to do is get a new credit card reader for your business that is capable of reading chip based cards. If you use a mobile credit card reader like PayPal Here or Square, you will simply need to request a new dongle from your processing company. Some new models of mobile credit card processors are not on the market just yet, but you can put your request in early so you receive yours in time for the switch.
If you use a more traditional credit card processor like what you may see at a cash register at a store, you will need to contact your processing provider to find out what it will take to get a new reader for your small business.
While chip-and-PIN cards are initially designed to protect consumers from identity fraud, they can also protect your small business and the end. You will not be as at risk for fraudulent charges and liability cases with the new security these cards come equipped with. Most banks will accept responsibility for unauthorized charges on an account, but there are some credit card providers and financial institutions that push the blame on to the merchant. You will not have to worry about that as much thanks to the new credit card laws.
Prepare in advance for the changes to come later on this year, and you will be able to continue operating your business without any interruptions.