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Small firms slow in EMV transition

Cost, security, training make many wary

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Small firms slow in EMV transition

Soon after the Oct. 1 EMV liability shift for businesses, a TD Bank survey found just 41% of small businesses have installed EMV chip-enabled payment terminals.

An additional 40% of small business owners say they plan to switch soon, but indicated they have obstacles with or concerns about converting. The remaining respondents said they either do not plan to install EMV (10%) or they are not aware of the new compliance rules regarding payment terminals (9%).

Perceptions drive willingness to change

The TD Bank Small Business EMV Survey polled more than 500 small businesses that currently accept credit or debit payments via payment terminals, asking about their adoption of EMV payment technology, perceptions about its benefits, and challenges with the system.

The findings reveal that business owners’ perceptions of the costs associated with new payment terminals are directly connected to their willingness to make the switch.

More than half (58%) of owners surveyed who have not yet transitioned to EMV payment technology said one of their biggest apprehensions is the cost associated with switching.

Yet TD Bank observed in its report that, contrary to several reports prior to the liability deadline that indicated purchasing and installing an EMV system could cost close to $1,000, owners who have implemented the technology reported spending an average of $450.

The greatest benefit of adopting an EMV-compliant payment terminal is the liability relief it provides small businesses in the event of a fraudulent transaction. However, the survey showed that 73% of owners say they are not very/not at all concerned about vulnerability to fraud.

Considering fraud issues

Among owners who have not adopted the technology, just 13% stated it is because of a lack of concern about data fraud.

Conversely, 70% of those who have become EMV compliant cited additional security as its top benefit. These business owners also say EMV better protects customers' information (58%) and safeguards their business from the liability of fraud (54%).

More than one-third of SBOs who have implemented or plan to invest in EMV terminals indicated the time involved to set up and learn the system (37%) and to explain the new process to customers (36%) is challenging.

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