Microchips and Small Businesses

Local and national retailers are now being pressured to have the most up-to-date payment systems in their stores in order to accommodate E.M.V. microchips.

Standing for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the microchip sits on the front of all new charge cards to avoid fraud and liability mishap. According to the New York Times article, “Coming Soon to Checkouts: Microchip-Card Payment Systems,” retailers have until October 2015 to update their systems accordingly. Hardware, like credit card pin pads, and software updates could cost retailers up to $600 per device. For small businesses, this could pose as a problem.

Many retailers are choosing not to, or are reluctantly deciding to update charging systems to accommodate the microchip. According to a Wells-Fargo poll, nearly 70% of merchants were not aware of the Oct. 2015 deadline. Of those, 21% said they are choosing not to switch structures.

I work at Alex and Ani in SoHo where our entire register system was recently updated. It is exciting to have the tools to accept cards with the E.M.V. microchip, ApplePay, and standard forms of payment. However, this expensive system has yet to work at its upmost potential. For two mornings, we could not accept any credit cards and were forced to use the old point-of-sale system that was luckily still connected. It was frustrating to get a first-hand look at what many other retailers are going through in order to be up to date with the latest technology.

It will be a long road before more retailers participate in this technological switch.

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