What do Target, Home Depot, and Citibank all have in common? All of these major companies have been the victims of data breaches and have lost data for millions of customers. Hackers can be extremely sophisticated, and when they get into a system they can do a hefty amount of harm, causing millions or even billions of dollars in damage. If these large companies can get breached, your small business may be at risk as well.
Older magnetic strip credit card processors have significant vulnerabilities. Currently, card issuers will absorb the brunt of a data breach for the time being, but this protection for small business owners won’t last long.
You May Soon Be Liable For Data Breaches Unless You Update Your Processing Equipment!
Starting in October of 2015, a liability shift will take place for all merchants who continue to use magnetic strip processing terminals. If a small business with a magnetic trip terminal experiences a data breach, they will be liable for all of the data lost. Considering that a 2011 data breach of Citibank is estimated to have cost $19.4 million, this is not a scenario any small business can withstand.
In order to avoid liability of data breaches, small businesses will need to become E.M.V.-compliant. That means merchants will have to buy and install N.F.C. readers, which can accept E.M.V.-standard credit cards. (Silver lining: N.F.C. readers can also accept digital payments, which many believe to be the future of credit card processing.)
As long as your business is E.M.V.-compliant by October of 2015, your business will not be held liable for data breaches.
At Pay it Forward Processing, we ensure that all of our customers are E.M.V.-compliant, so they never have to worry about being held responsible for losing customer data. A data breach is stressful enough as it is. A small business owner shouldn’t have to worry about possibly being bankrupted by the fallout.
What Are Your Chances?
At the end of the day, it is impossible to protect yourself 100% from a data breach. An employee may accidentally click on a link in a phishing email, someone nefarious may get ahold of a company password, or even hack the wireless network your business uses. The best thing you can do is limit your liability and watch out for any suspicious activity on your network.
Also, give us a call at Pay it Forward Processing if you have any questions about your E.M.V.-compliance. If you aren’t sure which N.F.C. reader is best for your business or what type of credit card processing hardware and software you need, we can help!