In less than a month, all four major credit card networks will put in motion one of the most significant shifts in payment history. October 1, 2015 will mark the day where the Liability Shift will alter the course of business for all merchants, both large and small. In short, the Liability Shift will require all merchants to equip themselves with proper payment terminals that accept EMV debit and credit cards (chip cards). Although pairing the words ‘liability’ and ‘deadline’ together seems quite ominous, the outlook for merchants can actually be quite positive.

The key questions all merchants should be asking themselves are:

  1. What does the Liability Shift meant to my business?
  2. What do I need to do to become compliant?
  3. How can my business do more than just comply? Where do the business opportunities lie?

As with all things unknown the best way to quell any fears, doubts, or question marks is educating the masses and exposing where the potential business opportunities lie. With our step-by-step rundown we will guide you through the necessary areas of focus to ensure a successful transition for your business come October 1st.

Step 1: Understanding the Liability Shift

  1. Non-compliance with the shift can potentially hold your business liable for certain types of fraud - primarily fraud by way of magnetic stripe counterfeits of bank issued chip cards

  2. The proliferation of chip cards has begun. Over the past year, banks have been steadily sending EMV cards to their customers while slowly phasing out magstripe cards

  3. The EMV technology incorporated in chip cards brings major security enhancements, chief of them being PIN requirements. Security is light years ahead of the magstripe

  4. Combine mainstream usage of chip cards with the well documented security benefits, it means that consumers will now expect to use their cards wherever they shop

  5. The shift is acting as an accelerant towards significantly decreasing the potential for fraud within commerce. A reality seen by all countries who have already implemented EMV technology within their payment infrastructure (The U.S. is the last major economy to adopt the technology)

  6. Although not a legal requirement, the liability shift is motivation for all merchants to play their role in adopting a technology that will significantly help us reduce fraud in the U.S.

Step 2: Why it is a good time to upgrade your terminal

  1. An upgrade not only suffices the base requirement for the Liability Shift, but more importantly provides an excellent opportunity to tap into the changing face of payments

  2. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, NFC, EMV chip debit/credit cards are just some of the new payment technologies increasing in popularity every day. Why not upgrade to a payment terminal that can easily accept all of these payment types and then some – a future proof terminal

  3. Don’t just stop at hardware that can accept all payments. Consider a platform that can extract important transactional/demographic data, then analyze that data, and ultimately provide actionable insights and recommendations that can power your future business activities and decisions

  4. Bottom line, use the liability shift as a facilitator to jump start your business into a space where hardware and software work together to ultimately enrich your customers shopping experience

Step 3: Start Accepting Chip Cards and Beyond...

  1. Where magstripe cards are swiped horizontally, chip cards are inserted and kept in the reader for the entirety of the transaction

  2. The duration of the EMV transaction takes slightly longer than your average magstripe transaction. This can be attributed to the additional security measures found within chip cards

  3. Similar to magstripe cards, chip cards can be authenticated via signature. Alternatively, they can also be authenticated via 4-8 digit PIN number (depending on the POS)

  4. If merchants smartly upgraded to a terminal that accepts all payment types, then they will be just scratching the surface with chip cards. Among other things, your new payment terminal can also accept mobile payments, a payment method that is on the brink of exploding in popularity

Well there you have it. With less than a month to go, you can empower your business to transform the outcome of the Liability Shift into an opportunity where hardware, software and data work in harmony to ultimately enrich the customer experience!