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Accepting chip-based credit cards at your business isn't as simple as just buying a new card reader for your cash register, unfortunately.You may also need to update (or replace) your POS system and ensure that all the new components are compatible with your accounting software and other tools. But this is also an opportunity to invest in more secure and more advanced technology--and give your customers more payment options.But there's another cost that most entrepreneurs are not aware of, and it could be putting them at serious risk for fraud.According to a new poll conducted by Manta, 56 percent of small companies still do not accept chip-based credit cards, and a whopping 65 percent of business owners are not familiar with the fraud liability shift that went into effect two years ago this month.So in practice, pretty much any merchant that takes plastic that has a minimum threshold sets it the same (and lower than ) across all card types. Since a legal settlement in 2013, merchants have been able to charge their customers additional surcharges for paying with a credit card. Merchants can only charge so high a fee relative to the average annual cost of transactions.There are variable maximums for how high the fee can be.
It works out roughly the same in the end for customers, but offering an incentive (a discount) for paying with cash is totally legal and doesn’t get into the morass of conditions and regulations.And on top of all that, the law varies from state to state.Visa has a flowchart (PDF) for their merchants that lists the ten states where surcharges are illegal.For example, in addition to accepting chip cards, make sure your new POS system also accepts "contactless" mobile-wallet payments such as Pay Pal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and others.
If you use a mobile card-swiping device that plugs into your smartphone or tablet, you also need to upgrade that to a chip-dipping version.In fact, according to Manta's survey, 77 percent of business owners who have made the switch said it's been a smooth transition.