Most small biz owners not ready for EMV: Poll

August 11, 2015

PRINCETON, N.J. (8/11/15)--Despite the serious consequences for small-business owners if they don't follow new rules that take effect this fall for credit cards, only 32% of owners are aware of the pending changes, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

The new set of credit card liability rules for businesses will take effect in October. These rules specify that businesses that do not upgrade to credit card equipment that can read new, chip-enabled credit cards will be liable for fraud and security breaches.

Only 35% of owners in the current Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, conducted July 6-10, report that they accept point-of-sale credit card payments for purchases, which might account for small-business owners' low awareness of the pending EMV rule.

Awareness of the EMV mandate is higher among this group than among those who do not accept such payments, as would be expected, but even among those who accept credit cards, awareness is 49%, compared with 23% among those who do not. Thus, about half of small-business owners who accept credit cards are not aware of the major changes forthcoming this fall.

It appears that a majority of small-business owners who accept credit cards but who do not have chip-enabled technology--about seven in 10--are, at this point, in no rush to comply with the mandate; 29% plan to comply by October, while the majority plan to comply either at a later time (34%) or do not plan to upgrade their systems to comply (21%).