An important deadline is nearly here for all retailers who accept credit cards in their bricks-and-mortar stores.
By October 1, you'll be expected to have upgraded your card terminals to accept so-called EMV cards–short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. These are the most advanced generation of credit cards, equipped with small microprocessors that secure point-of-sale transactions by encrypting the personal information of the cardholder.
If you haven't upgraded to newer machines, generally speaking you'll be on the hook for any fraud that happens with these cards after the deadline. Take a breather, though. The implementation won't happen overnight, and many card companies are just beginning to issue the cards, with about 120 million issued so far. While all card-accepting merchants are expected to transition by the deadline, the truth is by the end of 2015, financial services research group Aite Group says just 59 percent of retailers will be EMV equipped. It expects a more complete rollout to take two years.
Here's what you need to do to prepare:
1. Purchase a new terminal.
2. Prepare to educate your customers.
3. Protect your online sales.