An upcoming deadline involving new credit card technology and how credit card payments are processed is important for retail florists to know about — but not cause for panic (or costly upgrades), according to experts from within and outside the floral industry.
To complement the rollout of new chip credit cards (officially known as EMV or Europay, MasterCard and Visa cards), major credit card companies are changing their fraud policies in the U.S. That rollout includes a “liability shift” that will go into place this fall.
According to the group Advocates for Independent Business, “Beginning Oct. 1, 2015, if any party has technology that’s not EMV-compliant, that party will be the one responsible for the costs of credit card fraud.”
The Oct. 1 deadline is not a legal requirement, but “it does mean that merchants risk steep fees after that date — and it appears that many small businesses haven’t yet taken the steps to switch,” cautioned the AIB. (For a concise, detailed rundown of chip card technology, check out the information and info graphics here.)
Mark C. Tracy, CEO, of AdvoCharge, a business development company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, said that it’s important for small-business owners to remember that “existing hardware and systems will continue to work after the deadline; it is only a shift in liability.”
“If you are secure and have never suffered a data breach you are no less secure or more likely to suffer a data breach after the deadline,” Tracy said.
Other points to consider, according to Tracy: EMV technology does nothing to secure phone transactions — still a major source of income for most florists — and any change in technology can potentially bring out the unscrupulous side of businesses intent on selling upgrades that business owners don’t necessarily need. His advice: Take your time and ask your merchant service or POS providers questions before jumping into hardware or software upgrades.
Look for more detailed coverage of the new technology, along with resources to help you make informed business decisions, in the July issue of Floral Management magazine.