Were your point-of-sale terminals EMV-ready by the end of 2015? If not, you’ve got lots of company–and you’re all at risk. The Street reported at the end of December that just 40% of the retail POS terminals in the US were EMV compliant. The remaining 60% are still running on easily exploited technology, and the merchants who use them are on the hook for potential card fraud costs as well as resulting bad publicity and customer defection.

Get out of the POS risk pool

In fact, the stakes may be higher now than they were before the October 2015 conversion deadline. With major retailers like Target using EMV terminals to thwart skimming and mag stripe counterfeiting, unprotected retailers are more likely to be targets of criminals looking for easy scores. The longer you wait to convert, the smaller the pool of easy targets gets. Here’s what you need to do to get out of these potentially treacherous waters now.

Get in touch with your payment services provider and work together on accomplishing these steps:

  1. Get new POS terminals that can read EMV chip cards and accept customer PIN numbers. This will cost you some money, but the cost of terminal upgrades will almost always be lower than your potential liability for fraud. To make your upgrade dollars go further, look for EMV terminals that also support NFC (near-field communication) contactless payments.
  2. Upgrade to EMV-certified payment software. Again, included NFC support may save you another upgrade as contactless payments become more popular.
  3. Set up your new terminals to require customers to insert their chip cards and enter their PIN. Letting customers use your new terminals to swipe the legacy mag stripe on their chip card or skip PIN entry raises your vulnerability to fraud.
  4. Train your checkout staff on the new system. Make sure all staffers can show customers how to use the new terminals.
  5. Run test transactions on the system before you start ringing up customers with it.
  6. Craft and share a short explanation for customers of how the extra time an EMV transaction takes helps to protect their payment information.
  7. Enjoy the knowledge that you’re no longer liable for the cost of mag stripe card fraud at the point of sale.

EMV isn’t the only payment security tool you need

As our CEO Jeff Thorness has explained in PaymentsSource, EMV doesn’t solve all payment security vulnerabilities. While you’re upgrading to EMV, look into the other tools your business needs to provide top-level data protection. Tokenization replaces customer payment data with a code that’s useless to thieves. Encryption shields the data in case of system break-ins. And stringent authentication reduces the risk of fraud in online CNP transactions. Together with EMV technology at the point of sale, these tools are a strong defense against retail card fraud.

To learn how Forte can help your business with secure payment solutions including encryption and tokenization, give us a call at 1.866.290.5400 or send an email to sales@forte.net. Learn more by visiting us here.

Photo credit: Got Credit

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