After a year of EMV implementation, merchants are still unsure of the facts.
Banks have been rapidly issuing EMV enabled chip cards in replacement of magnetic strip cards.
EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) is standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (chip cards) for authenticating credit or debit card transactions. EMV is a global model for payment terminals and cards, which aims to improve payment security.
With the alarming increase in point of sale system hacks over the past couple of years, the liability shift is an attempt to protect consumers data.
As of October 1, 2015, business owners began to be held responsible for any charge backs that transpire on non EMV terminals.
The EMV upgrade is not a mandate but large merchants have an incentive to upgrade credit card processing terminals even though it is costly.
As for smaller business owners looking to purchase EMV payment terminals, please take into consideration the age of your POS hardware and operating system.
Point of Sale Systems before 2015, may still be running on Windows XP operating systems, which is no longer PCI complaint or EMV ready.
If you are still utilizing Windows XP, purchasing an EMV terminal can become more costly than anticipated.
Typically it will require the installation of the new OS and then the re-installation of the programs. This cannot be done simply remotely. In most cases the new OS is installed and sent on a new hard drive, so the cost of new hard drive and OS must be taken into consideration.
Given the continuous advancements in POS software, older POS hardware may not even be able to accommodate the new software needs.
If your POS system has been operating for 36 months or longer, you should consider replacement terminals since the systems is near the end of its life cycle based on warranty.
In 48 months, most POS systems have seen over 20,000 hours of usage and about 35,000 hours of on time. Given the various components of POS systems including touch screens, older systems naturally need replacement.
You can upgrade the OS (about $400 per terminal) and potentially POS components (RAM, processors, etc), but if your POS is around 3 or more years old, it will be much more cost effective to change the terminals since new terminals 1) come with new OS, 2) better hardware, 3) can accommodate the new software, and 4) have up to 3 years of warranty.
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