Visa and American Express Offer Assistance for Businesses Struggling to Meet the EMV Deadline

The October deadline for EMV compliance, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, is right around the corner. This compliance will make the processing of credit and debit card payments using a card that contains a microprocessor chip. By now, numerous businesses have already switched to chip-enabled terminals and facilities. Unfortunately, there are still a great number of establishments that are hesitant about making the crucial updates. Lack of knowledge about EMV migration and insufficient funds are the most common roadblocks companies are facing in relation to the big change. Many financial institutions acknowledge the struggle and have launched several programs to help businesses prepare for the controversial EMV changeover.

What is Visa Doing to Help Businesses?

Visa has taken bold steps to ensure merchants are onboard with EMV. The global brand is offering an online tool kit that is designed to provide individuals with a comprehensive overview of the migration process.

“Chip technology will bring an important new layer of security for credit and debit cards by helping to make stolen account information useless to criminals,” said Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of Risk Products, Visa Inc. “It is a priority to increase merchant awareness and understanding, given a liability shift in October 2015, after which merchants who are not ready to accept chip cards may be responsible for counterfeit fraud.”

Each section of the program is broken down into small, easy-to-digest parts. There are also interactive images and diagrams available in the modules. For training purposes, the last chapter includes a short quiz, which covers various live application exercises for staff. Overall, the tool kit is ideal for business owners who need a crash course on EMV. Sharing and downloading the program is encouraged by Visa and can be done from the main drop down menu.

American Express: Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program

American Express had a similar initiative, also aimed at empowering businesses through education and actionable information. Small business owners who purchased EMV terminals using their own means could reimburse up to $100 from the financial company. To qualify, establishments were required to accept American Express cards and have less than $3 million in annual American Express charge volume. Individuals had the option to acquire EMV hardware from the processor or terminal provider of their choice.

The payments institution allocated $10 million for the program. Franchisees were not eligible to participate in the initiative. The arrangement expired on April 30, but individuals who are interested in reviewing the modules can still do so on the official website.

“Unfortunately, many small merchants do not know about EMV or what they need to do to take advantage of it,” highlighted Anre Williams, President, Global Merchant Services, American Express. “We created the Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program to help them. By providing financial and educational assistance, we hope small merchants more quickly adopt EMV so they can ensure their customers feel safe when shopping at their stores.”

The information found in the guides offer a technical perspective on chip-and-card compliance. Merchants will be able to find compilations of US regulations and FAQs. There are also downloadable signs business owners can use to let customers know they are equipped to handle the latest payments standard.