The Decline of Magstripe Cards — and What That Means for Your Business

Anecdotally, you’ve probably noticed that chip cards are becoming more and more prevalent. And Square data confirms this.

In February 2017, nearly 84 percent of cards processed on Square were EMV chip cards, up from almost 57 percent a year ago.

Chip cards are on the quick rise in the United States.

You may also have noticed that some businesses have tape or signs over their POS saying something like “no chip cards yet.” This is ill advised. It may have slipped under your radar, but back in October 2015, something called the EMV liability shift happened.

Effectively, it means that you could now be on the hook for certain types of fraudulent activity at your business if you aren’t set up to accept EMV chip cards (which are far more secure than magstripe cards). So if you’re not accepting chip cards, your business could be at risk.

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While EMV chip cards are more fraud-proof than magstripe cards, they can take a little more time to process as a result (more robust security checks take more time to process). Reports average that most chip card readers take anywhere from 8 seconds to 13 seconds to process.

Our survey about customers’ opinions on chip card and contactless payments found that transaction speed was one of their biggest complaints about chip cards. So we’ve been working on that — Square Reader for contactless and chip now processes chip cards in just 4.2 seconds.

If you’re looking for an even more seamless experience, think about contactless payments (like Apple Pay). They’re just as secure as EMV chip cards, but a lot (lot) faster.

You can quickly get set up to accept both EMV and NFC payments with Square Reader for contactless and chip. It’s just $49, hundreds of dollars less than other solutions. Order it here.

Learn more about EMV chip cards in this short video:

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