MasterCard and Visa have jointly decided to push back the deadline for merchants to install EMV chip-card readers at gas pumps in the United States. Many merchants have stated they do not have enough time to complete the multibillion dollar upgrades.

Both companies state it is a priority for them to ensure that consumers have safe places to shop and use their cards. They will be working with both the fuel companies, station owners, industry associations, and third party vendors to make sure that this transition is a smooth process.

All merchants will now have until October 1, 2020 to upgrade to the new EMV chip technology for their businesses. Both companies will monitor payments and fraud trends at the pumps to assist their customers in discouraging fraud. Currently, banks are responsible for the fraudulent transactions that occur on a consumer’s card at the gas pump. Now that the deadline has been set, that liability will shift over to the station if they are not compliant after the deadline.

The process, so far, has been successful. To date, more than 1.7 million, that represent over 1/3 of the US store fronts are now accepting EMV cards correctly. Visa has seen a 43% reduction of counterfeit card fraud with merchants that are using the chip enabled technology.

One of the biggest challenges for the gas station owners is their older pumps will have to be completely replaced before the chip readers can be installed. This will require specialized vendors. And even 5 years after this mandate was announced, merchants are still facing a shortage of compliant POS terminals to purchase or lease.

Many industry sources point to the lack of a centralized organization to orchestrate the change over to the new technology. This process was mandated by three different agencies and companies, to help in the prevention of theft and fraud. But no one spent the time to standardize the process. When the first mandate date rolled out on October 1, 2015. Terminal suppliers, software programmers, merchant services companies and retailers were all being told different stories on how to implement. As a result, terminals were in short supply, the certification process was taking months instead of days to implement, and retailers were running for the hills to stay away from this fiasco until the dust had settled.

Now it is time to re-think your position on the EMV terminal. You have been given 3 more years grace, but don’t risk the fraud liability now. Start your process to implement your EMV technological upgrade now.

When an owner of a business hears the term “merchant services” they normally think of a generalized idea which involved processing debit and credit card transactions. While not totally wrong, it just misses the entirety of what really merchant services are and how they can assist a business grow.

A business that accepts debit and credit card payments will have to use merchant services. This is particularly so if they truly want to expand to other payment processing parts such as mobile or online. To perform this, a merchant will have to use a credible merchant services agent to use new technologies and know new revenue opportunities.

So, it’s vital for a merchant provider to just know that every business is unique. For instance, an eCommerce-based business might have diverse needs than a body shop. Although security is of paramount importance for every establishment, the eCommerce business therefore will have higher level of security measures versus the body shop. Additionally, the body shop will likely need a payment processor in order to process payments in person but the eCommerce business will need just a virtual-based one.

If you are ready with your business to select a merchant provider, where then do you start? A merchant can normally turn to the Internet to perform a simple online search using websites such as Google. This will normally tell a merchant of the quality and type of companies that give merchant services. You can visit their sites and read reviews from websites such as the Better Business Bureau to get the best service providers. Additionally, a merchant can even ask other businesses that they use and suggest as a merchant services. Other businesses will normally have a bit to say about a merchant provide whether it comes from a good partnership or a very awful experiences. Also, feel free to contact the merchant providers and speak to a representative to learn more regarding their levels of services. Because this is an industry that’s technology-based, it’s crucial for your service provider to always be on the leading edge so that you get access to the recent technologies you can easily use to reduce your costs while improving your profits.

Service doesn’t end as soon as the contract is signed and you will have the payment processing terminals. You have to know the level and type of customer service offered once you register with a merchant services provider. In case of an emergency, you’ll need to know how and when a services provider are going to address your concerns.

It’s good you know what fees and rates and will be applied to the merchant services account. For instance, some merchant agency may tout the benefits of a totally free terminal that may sound great to a prospective merchant. But, many times they are normally higher when compare to the usual fees and rates related to these “free” terminals therefore beware as you hear this.

Finally, these services may appear like a thing businesses might not really need to really know much about. A properly educated merchant however can use merchant services to assist them reduce the cost of business operation costs while increasing profits.