by Jim Martin
Chip cards are proliferating. Your customers prefer them because they offer more security than the older cards which must be slid through a reader. While the new cards can be read the old way, you need to accommodate the new way. You can recognize the new cards by a chip image near the edge of the card that inserts into the chip slot on newer card readers.
Chip cards are based on an international standard called EMV, currently used for about 3.4 billion cards in eighty countries. (Details of usage can be found at emov-connection.com/merchants.) The protocols involved make every transaction unique, and the card is virtually impossible to copy. If the card data and the one-time code are captured, they cannot be used to create counterfeit card.
If a chip card is slid through a reader that also has a chip slot, it will prompt the user to insert it instead (chip end in, face up). The readers also prompt both insertion and removal. Older cards not using a chip can still be read by sliding them through the new terminals. Your service provider can arrange for you to receive the new terminal. It would probably help your customers to put a placard near the cash register indicating your planned date of conversion. You should also train your sales personnel to assist customers in the transition. Some customers may not notice the change in their new card. Make sure the customer takes the card from the slot when the transaction is complete.
Your customers will appreciate the added security, and your installation of the new terminal will show them that you like to remain at the leading edge. Don’t delay.