Credit cards equipped with computer chips may protect customers against theft, but new rules shift financial responsibility for fraud to any small-business owner who isn’t prepared to accept them.
The new EMV credit cards literally feature a computer chip on the front—and they require a new point-of-sale card reader to verify the chip. Your old magnetic-stripe card reader won’t cut it. If your small business with a physical point-of-sale isn’t equipped to accept the new cards by Oct. 1, you will be liable for any fraudulent charges.
While EMV chip cards won’t protect against data breaches, they will "ensure the card that shows up is not a counterfeit card," said Derrick Carpenter, the senior vice president of Industry Solutions and Platforms at Bank of America Merchant Services. "It’s an important piece to the puzzle. You’re authenticating that the customer is who they say they are."
If you do not equip your point-of-sale to accept EMV cards, business will continue as usual after the Oct. 1 deadline. However, any fraudulent transactions would be your responsibility. As Carpenter explained, "They potentially may see an increase in the number of transactions that are charged back, and they wouldn’t have an avenue to get out of it, because [the cards] would have been deemed counterfeit and weren’t accepted."