Today, there is a major rule change for business regarding their credit card processing. It's the deadline for businesses to accept chip cards. What are chip cards? Your bank or credit union has likely sent you an updated credit card with a new chip embedded in the left margin.
What do the chips do? They generate a unique encrypted code when used, which makes your card number and personal information less vulnerable to hackers. Chip cards, also called EMV cards, reduce your risk to a fraction of what it is currently, and can mean an end to the mass data breached that we've seen at large retailers in recent years.
How do they work? Instead of swiping the magnetic strips on the back of the card, you dip the chip into a card reader to obtain payment information. The card must stay in some systems for the duration of the digital transaction, which is why some stores have those readers that physically suck your card into a terminal.
What does this deadline mean? Unfortunately, hacking happens. This deadline changes who is financially liable if your credit card information is stolen. On October 1, 2015, if a company has not updated their credit card system to something that takes chip cards, and if your card number is stolen as a result of a transaction with that merchant, they are liable for any financial fraud committed on your card. If a company is using a card processor which correctly handles chip cards, the financial liability stays with the bank that issued the credit card.
Is Serenity Holistic Massage ready? Yes, I am! I upgraded to an encrypted chip card reader in August and immediately started taking payments through that system with the correct level of security. The equipment upgrade cost me a mere $30, and the extra encryption adds, at most, three seconds to a credit card transaction. This is a small change that will spare most of us from the time-consuming hassle of credit card fraud.