Unfortunately as in all sales industries, some sales people sell based on fear or misinformation, and the merchant processing industry is no different.
Ever since the credit card networks mandated an October 2015 transition to EMV credit cards, many small businesses are being contacted by creative sales people demanding that they switch their merchant accounts right away and spend upwards of $1000 to purchase a new credit card terminal in order to become "compatible".
Please don't fall victim to these fear tactics.
As I stated above, all businesses have until October of 2015 to upgrade their terminals.
Existing credit card terminals will continue to work and allow you to accept payment from your customers as is. EMV credit cards are simply becoming an additional payment option that offers enhanced customer payment data security. Over time the EMV chip based credit cards will replace the current magnetic swipe credit cards and terminals will no longer need to be able to accept both.
Even with the October 2015 mandate, many are estimating that only about 53% of businesses will be equipped with the new terminals by December 2015. Why? The main reason seems to be that many merchants will not be able to afford the cost of the terminal equipment. Most EMV terminals will cost a merchant about $1,000 each. While it may seem like a steep price tag, the costs of not complying, do outweigh the initial investment, especially if there is a security breach, which most smaller businesses will not be equipped to handle.
Upgrading your terminal should be something you discuss with a trusted merchant account agent. Be sure the agent can present you with many different options and assist you with the best time to make the change as well. As with all change, expect a bit of time to be spent familiarizing yourself with the new terminal.
When considering where to get your new equipment, keep in mind that some merchant providers will sell you the terminal upfront, others will suggest leasing options and others will offer to rent you the equipment. As someone who prides herself on figuring out ways to put more money in my merchants' pockets, my existing merchants will receive the new equipment at no additional cost, prior to the deadline and all new clients will be provided with the new terminals at no charge.
With the new year quickly approaching and the mandate at the end of the upcoming year, take some time to plan your upgrade. Don't be fooled by sales people trying to scare you into making an impulsive decision today. Do your research, find an agent you can trust and transition to the new terminals without breaking the bank.