Published November 16, 2020
As reported by ABC 8 News, credit card fraud is skyrocketing during the pandemic. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, credit card fraud had increased 104 percent—that’s more than 75 percent higher than usual. While a lot of thieves are going online to steal consumer’s digits, there’s also an increase in skimming like at the convenience store in Kent County, VA where multiple skimmers were found. One way to reduce in-store and on-premise credit and debit card fraud is to get EMV compliant—and five years after the industry standards mandate, many retailers still aren’t chip ready.
As of October 1, 2015, all merchants were mandated to be EMV compliant—to have a point-of-sale system that accepts EMV chip-embedded cards. While there was a large increase among retailers accepting EMV chip cards (825 percent according to Visa from late 2015 to June 2019), those who don’t are taking some risks—and not just the financial liability.
Related: You’re already upgrading to EMV-compliant fuel pumps. Here’s how to make it profitable.
It may have taken consumers a while to understand why they were receiving new credit and debit cards with a chip in them. They might have just thought it was a cool bit of new technology, but consumers understand now that it’s about protection from fraud—that with the chip skimmers thieves can’t get their information like they can from the magnetic stripe. So, for businesses who don’t allow them to “dip” and pay, they might decide to take their business elsewhere and that can ultimately affect your reputation.
Merely giving your customers the experience they expect isn’t going to help you stand out from the crowd, but going above and beyond will. And while safety is top of mind for them, showing your customers that you’re taking every precaution to protect them when they visit your store is a great way to garner customer loyalty.
When you’re EMV compliant you:
Your customers are going to appreciate that you won’t give them the hassles they get with your competitors who aren’t EMV compliant.
When merchants aren’t EVM compliant they run the risk of reducing their customer loyalty by some of the other actions they take to protect themselves. Many merchants who choose not to invest in POS systems that accept the EMV chip, end up disputing chargebacks. What they may not know is that their merchant service providers can show the disputes to their customers, and that won’t have a positive impact on their customers who likely will worry that they will be liable for the fraud.
Other merchants turn to fraud filtering services and devices, like asking their customers for further credit or debit card verification—and that increases friction in a number of ways. The last thing consumers want to do is take more time and enter more numbers or other information just to pay for their order. Consumers also may feel like the merchants are questioning their honesty, that they think they would be willing to use a fraudulent card.
So, when you’re EMV compliant, you’ll gain a reputation of not “being that business.”
Beyond giving your customer’s the best service and increasing your reputation, you’ll want to accept EMV debit and credit cards so you won’t be the liable party when a fraudulent card is used. So, if someone uses a card that has both an EMV chip and a magnetic stripe, but you do not have a chip reader and it turns out the card was made with stolen information (or simply stolen) you will receive a chargeback. And, considering that, on average, credit card companies were shelling out $400 million a year—that could be costly. In addition, your merchant service company can (and many are) charge you a fee—either monthly or annually—for not being EMV compliant.
It’s not hard to take a small skimmer (a card-reading device) that fits into the palm of their hands and attach it to a gas pump or an ATM. Then, it’s easy money for thieves as consumers swipe their cards into the skimmer that gobbles up their credit card information. Later, the skimmers can easily be retrieved, taken to a credit card lab where they can be used to make fraudulent cards.
As consumers around the world value contactless interactions more and more, being EMV compliant will show your customers that you have their well-being in mind—for contactless payments and protection from fraud. You’ll be giving them the way that they prefer to pay, increasing customer satisfaction and boosting your loyalty program. And with so many ways to spread the word, either by mouth or through social media, your satisfied customers, happily using their EMV chip cards, will help you improve your reputation.