Economy

After New Rule, More Small Businesses Adopt Chip Technology

After New Rule, More Small Businesses Adopt Chip Technology
by Coleen McMurray and Frank Newport

Story Highlights

  • 48% of small businesses that accept credit cards are now chip-enabled
  • This is up from 31% in August before new rules went into effect
  • Most plan on upgrading at some point in the future

PRINCETON, N.J. -- About half (48%) of small-business owners who accept credit cards now have chip-enabled systems in place. This is up from 31% in the third quarter of last year, just before new rules on liability for credit card fraud committed at point-of-sale card readers took effect in October.

Trend: From what you know, is your credit card processing system currently chip-enabled?

The new rules transfer liability for fraudulent transactions from the payment card companies to the businesses unless they have upgraded to an EMV-enabled system (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) that accepts chip-enabled credit or debit cards. About three in 10 small-business owners interviewed as part of the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey accept credit or debit cards for payment at a traditional point-of-sale terminal.

Most small-business owners who accept credit card purchases but have not yet upgraded say they will upgrade at some point in the future. Thirty-six percent of these owners plan to upgrade in the next 12 months, while 41% do not have a specific date in mind. Additionally, 20% say they never plan to upgrade to chip-enabled processing equipment.

Looking ahead, do you plan on upgrading your card processing system to begin accepting chip-enabled cards, and if so, when?

Implications

Small-business owners who accept point-of-sale credit card purchases needed to be in compliance with the mandate beginning in October 2015, or risk being held liable for fraudulent purchases using non-chip-enabled equipment at their places of business. While compliance has increased since last year, about half of owners who accept credit and debit cards have not yet upgraded their equipment -- although most say they will at some point in the future.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 600 U.S. small-business owners in all 50 states, conducted Jan. 11-15, 2016. For results based on the total sample of small-business owners, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For results based on the sample of 245 small-business owners who currently accept payments via point-of-sale credit or debit cards, the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For more information about Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, visit wellsfargoworks.com. Follow us on Twitter @WellsFargoWorks.

Learn more about how the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index works.

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