As the payments landscape continues to change, it is the small business merchants who seem to be forgotten in the migration to EMV chip technology and protection against hackers. This was a recurring theme in two of the seminars at the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) Transact 14 Conference in Las Vegas last week, entitled Merchants and Payments: The Top 5 Issues and Opportunities Looking Past 2015; and The State of the Payments Market: a Roundtable Discussion.
“It is crazy how little merchants have been involved in the migration,” said one panelist. “We need to engage everyone impacted in a sale, small and large-scale merchants and consumers included.”
Small Business Merchants: ‘We’re Not Security Experts’
John Drechny, Senior Director of Payment Services at Walmart, said the retail giant spends more than $100 million per year to remain on the cutting edge of credit card security and defense against hackers and fraudsters. It is the reason why it has never suffered a consumer data breach the scale of the recent ones of Target, Neiman Marcus and Michael’s.
Walmart’s commitment to security is commendable – it values its consumer data privacy and it has the means to do so. But what are the <em>small business merchants</em> to do? To many small business merchants – mom and pop stores and small chains – SSL, 3D and PCI DSS are merely acronyms, the minimum defense. There is no silver bullet to defend oneself against data breaches and hackers, but it does seem the more secure small business merchants want to be, the more they will pay.
To EMV, or Not to EMV?
The migration to EMV chip technology in credit cards had its share of critics at Transact 14, several of whom cited the measure as a lateral move, an old strategy that other countries have utilized for more than 20 years. It is effective security in card-present situations, but vulnerable in card-not-present situations, as Canadian merchants discovered when they began migration four years ago.
Installing EMV-enabled devices at the point of sale by the October 2015 liability deadline will be a significant expense for small business merchants. They are left with a decision to make: Do they invest in EMV-enabled software to meet the liability deadline, or do they ride out the EMV movement until consumers are primarily paying with their smartphones.
Small Business Merchants Have Security With Instabill
Instabill is a credit card processor with a secure payment gateway that is PCI DSS-compliant. Small business merchants and startups can rest assured their merchant accounts at Instabill are under the tightest security standards. To speak with a live representative about opening a secure merchant account at Instabill, call 1-800-314-2713.