What to Know About the Upcoming Shift to Chip Cards

What to Know About the Upcoming Shift to Chip Cards

Most recent and upcoming American credit cards feature a new form of security named EMV technology. EMV, which stands for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa,” is believed to drastically affect how credit cards are used and perceived by both consumers and retailers.

Part of the reason this is such a big development is because almost half of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the United States, despite having only a fourth of the world’s credit card transactions. The U.S. is a newcomer to the party, and here’s what you need to know.

Everywhere But the U.S. Already Uses It

Although one may assume that the U.S. is simply adopting new technology, the fact of the matter is that Europe has been using chip-based technology for years now. The U.S. is considered well behind the game in terms of still using magnetic strips on credit cards.

It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Lot to Implement

As a business owner, a natural concern is that accepting this new credit card technology as a form of payment will be difficult and expensive to implement.

Fortunately, there are options such as the Square contactless and chip reader, which accepts traditional cards, Apple Pay, and yes, EMV-chipped cards. It is available to some vendors for free for a limited time.

You May Be Liable

With traditional magnetic-based credit cards, the bank takes on fraudulent charges should they arise. With the new EMV chipped cards, in many cases the retailer takes full responsibility for the fraudulent purchases, particularly if they do not own a proper EMV machine. The credit card processing rules will go in effect in October 2015.

It is a seismic shift in regards to culpability and responsibility, and it has caused some controversy and uproar, amongst both analysts and those with merchant accounts.

Are Cards Still Swiped?

New chip-based cards will not be swiped, but rather inserted or “dipped” into the reader, They will be left in the device for longer than a traditional swipe takes.

It Is Not NFC

Although both EMV and NFC are more secure payment technologies, they differ in some significant respects. In broad strokes, NFC is a contactless payment method, while EMV still involves a physical card. In addition, NFC transactions are usually faster than EMV payments. Both are safe, however, and good options for merchant accounts.

What to Think About When Switching Credit Card Processing Providers

As a business owner, it is important to increase profits as much as possible. There are many ways to cut back, but your credit card processing is something you must have to stay in business. Without it, you would not be able to accept credit cards from your customers. However, you may find that it is beneficial to think about switching your provider as it could save you a lot of money. Before you switch, though, there are several things to consider.

Merchant accounts are subjected to many different types of fees. From interchange fees and monthly statement fees to monthly minimum fees and gateway access fees, the charges may seem astronomical to you. Never make the switch until you check out what the other company will charge. On top of this, you may also be charged with an early termination fee if you cancel service with them before your contract has expired.

Accepted Types of Payment
It will also benefit you to confirm what types of payment methods the provider accepts. It could do great harm to your business to find out that it doesn’t accept the type of credit cards that some of your best customers use at your business. Always confirm before making any change in processors.

Current Technology
The provider you choose should also be up-to-date with technology. Those who are not current are not going to take the latest forms of payment methods, including Google Wallet or Apple Pay. Many people are now using them, and, if your provider is not accepting them, it could turn into a loss for your business.

Customer Service
You also must consider the importance of their customer service and their help desk performance prior to any switch. Major problems can occur if your system goes down on a weekend and you suddenly find that no one is available to assist you in getting your system back online. The fact is that any business is only as good as the support they can provide you with.

Merchant accounts are a must when you own a business, but you do not have to sit back and do nothing when you feel your provider is taking advantage of you. Shopping around for a better provider is often the best choice in ensuring the longevity of your own business.

Contact CreditCardProcessing.com today to see how we can save you money while offering no setup fees or long term commitments.

Ways To Increase Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is one of the key indicators of business health. Losing even a fraction of your customers on a monthly basis may seem like a harmless, natural event but may suggest a more serious underlying condition. Here are 5 ways to increase the number of repeat customers and build a loyal consumer base.

Establish a Connection

Studies show that more than 70 percent of customers immediately end their relationship with a business because of unsatisfactory customer experience. On average, a lost customer equates to $289 in yearly sales or a whopping $83 billion in the US alone. Further studies indicate that customers are more inclined to stay with a business that actually talks to them rather than get greeted by a machine and frustratingly get instructed to press this and that button.

Step Into Their Shoes

The best way to figure out how to treat customers is to become one. Start out by shopping at your competitor’s store and focusing on your shopping experience. How did their customer representatives greet and treat you? Aside from visiting their physical location, shop at their eCommerce platform and try to take notes regarding user experience.

Offer Flexibility

Offering flexibility in your products and services as well as payment options can strengthen customer loyalty. Again, put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Would you settle for a business that only has one or two outdated product/service lines?

In terms of payment options, make sure to apply for a credit card processing service from a merchant account provider. The ability to accept credit card processing enables a business to accommodate customers who are paying via credit or debit card. A cash-only policy is simply outdated and restricts potential sales. Choose the right merchant account provider that can provide you with the hardware and software for processing credit cards.

Employ Competent Employees

Right off the bat, let your employees know that you expect them to be at their best. Never assume that they are performing at their optimal levels and care about growing your brand through the best customer service experience. If you do, you’ll probably end up disappointed and with fewer customers. To maintain competence among your employee base, make sure to provide regular and relevant training programs and seminars.

Implementing the aforementioned tactics is a cost-efficient approach towards increasing customer loyalty. Focusing on this particular business facet can give your business the competitive edge it needs to thrive within its particular industry by building a larger and more loyal customer base and increasing sales significantly.

Benefits of Upgrading to a Newer POS System

Among other benefits, a new point of sale (POS) system can make it easier to keep track of transactions and improve credit card processing speed. It can also help your company better serve its customers by analyzing past results to identify potential future sales trends. What else can upgrading your system do for you?

Accept Credit Cards for the First Time

A POS system that allows for credit card processing can increase a company’s revenue because it doesn’t have to turn away those who don’t have cash. It may also allow a company to start selling goods online where credit cards are the preferred method. Customers who pay by credit card may also be willing to buy more per purchase because they can pay over time when using their card to make a purchase.

Engage in More Meaningful Relationships With Customers

Updating your POS system may make it easier to manage relationships with your customers. Companies can send personalized emails to frequent shoppers that contain coupons or other perks or simply remind past customers about an upcoming sale. If a company makes money via a subscription model, it may be possible to keep track of when a given subscription is about to expire and contact a customer ahead of time to renew.

Keep Track of Business Data

If your company has multiple merchant accounts, it may be tough to go through them all individually. However, a new POS system could allow you to go through all of your account information at once. This may make it easier to determine which locations are making the most money, which ones are struggling and try to figure out why. Other data such as overall sales number, units sold and payroll costs may also be available. This can help you determine how many people you need and when you need them on the sales floor to make the shopping experience a positive one for customers.

Your point of sale system should help your business do more than just collect money from customers. It should provide insights that can help your company grow and develop relationships with customers and others. These insights could be the difference between becoming a force in its industry or shutting down for good.

Why You Should Use an EMV Compliant Terminal

Many cards in America today have magnetic strips at the back. When a customer makes a payment, the processing terminal reads the magnetic strip, using this information to charge the customer’s account. A new, more secure card, the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) card, has been introduced across the globe, with America a late player to make the shift. The technology has been around since the 90s, and has shown favorable results when it comes to card security.

EMV cards store their information on smart chips instead of a magnetic strip. Whereas magnetic strips contain static information, smart chips encrypt information dynamically. Each time an EMV card is used, different data is transmitted across the server. Hackers can easily copy data off a magnetic strip, but the process if much more complex if attempting to copy off a smart chip. Increased security puts consumers at ease when paying, businesses at ease when processing transactions and will save billions per year.

Europay, Mastercard and Visa teamed up to create this new card standard to reduce credit and debit card fraud. Fraud costs debit and credit card processing companies over $8 billion per year, meaning there is large incentive to create a more secure card.

Liability Shift

Business owners should ensure their credit card terminals are up to date with the latest technology, or they will pay the price. In the past, any financial fraud was placed on the shoulders of debit and credit card processing companies. Effective October 1st 2015, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, will change their policies. If a consumer makes a purchase with an EMV card, but the POS machine or terminal is not EMV compliant, the business might bear the fraud liability.

The rate of EMV-issued cards is increasing in America, meaning more consumers will be paying with EMV cards. As this technology becomes widespread, thieves will target the easier-to-breach magnetic strip cards at an alarming rate, increasing consumer demand for EMV cards. Consumers will in turn feel more secure paying at POS that are EMV compliant and business owners can rest easy knowing they will not bear fraud liability.

Update by October 1st

Consider setting up a merchant account with a large reputable company who already processes EMV card transactions. Once October 1st 2015 passes, those businesses who failed to implement this new technology will suffer. Laws change constantly, meaning the future may even require EMV-capable terminals for payments to be accepted.

Using a Tablet with Your POS System

If your business is like most others, you use merchant accounts to accept credit cards as a method of payment from your customers. Credit card processing is simply part of your business, and you may be using the same processing terminals and processes that you have been using for years. There have been wonderful innovations in credit card processing in recent years, and one of these innovations is the use of a tablet with your POS system. With a closer look at what a tablet POS system has to offer, you may discover that this is a wonderful idea for your business.

How a Tablet POS System Works
Most POS systems require you to have a fixed terminal where transactions are processed, and this typically is at a checkout stand. Your customers may wait in line to make their purchase, such as in a retail store environment. In other cases, your staff members may collect the credit card and walk away to process the payment while your customer waits. With a tablet, you bring the processing terminal to your customers. This eliminates the need to wait in line or to make your customers wait while the payment is processed. The entire payment process is faster, easier and less stressful for customers and staff members alike.

Businesses That Benefit From Them
Many businesses already use table POS systems with their merchant accounts. They are increasingly common in restaurants and bars as well as in retail stores. In addition, many service-oriented businesses are also using them, such as electrical companies, plumbing companies and more. They essentially bring the checkout stand to the customer, and this can boost productivity of your staff while making your customers happier.

Other Features to Look For With a New POS System
Many who make the decision to upgrade to a POS with a tablet processing system will also make other upgrades. For example, some other innovations enable your POS to tabulate inventory in real-time, to provide you with accurate information about the day’s sales and even to monitor activity of your on-site employees. These features can help you to better run your business and serve your customers.

There are numerous benefits associated with using a tablet-based POS system. Learning more about the different tablet systems available for use with merchant accounts can help you to determine if this is the right upgrade to make in your business.



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