Help! I Process Very Few Credit Card Transactions Each Month. Do I Need to Worry About EMV?

I only process about five transactions a month with a card presented by a member we know. Do I really need to worry about fraud and switch to an EMV terminal?

Rick Ellis’ Answer to “Do I Need to Worry about EMV If I Process Very Few Credit Card Transactions?”:

This is a common misconception. Merchants with low transaction amounts think they’re less at risk of fraud, but in fact, are MORE at risk.

Here’s why:

Fraudsters keep up with what’s happening. They’re constantly looking for new opportunities, trying to distill down where their opportunities are, and spend their efforts in the right places.

A perfect example of this was when Europe transitioned to EMV. What happened? Thieves began targeting companies that were slow to upgrade to new technology.

The fraudsters that had the ability to reproduce magnetic stripe cards based on skimmed numbers they had in possession went to places that only accepted magnetic stripe cards to perpetrate fraudulent purchases.

It’s predicted the same will happen in the U.S.

That means that if you don’t upgrade to an EMV terminal, you — a small merchant that hasn’t upgraded to EMV technology — will likely become a really good target for a fraudster who’s using fraudulent magnetic stripe cards.

I want to make another point clear because it’s hugely important:

If you aren’t using an EMV terminal starting October 1st, and fraudulent charges occur when a chip card is used at your business, you’ll not only be liable for the costs of the transaction amounts, you’ll be liable for:

  • Any damages that any party involved feels has been done to them
  • Fines and penalties associated with the fraud
  • Any horrible PR that comes with the act of fraud

That said, to answer your question, it’s a VERY dangerous risk to take to not upgrade to EMV just because you process a low amount of transactions.

I also want to point out that upgrading to an EMV terminal isn’t as costly as you might think. At Constellation Payments, we provide EMV-compliant terminals for every budget. You also have the ability to rent instead of buy to minimize any cash flow issues that may come with the upgrade.

Bottom line: it’s a MUCH, MUCH bigger expense when things go wrong and is HIGHLY advisable that all merchants — big and small — upgrade to EMV terminals to avoid huge penalties and other liability.

If you have questions about EMV, integrated terminals, or our terminal initiative, feel free to give me a call at 267.287.1035 or send me an email at We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Rick Ellis is a Business Development Executive with over 20 years of experience running a successful membership-based company built around a lucrative recurring revenue business model. As an Executive for Constellation Payments, a fully integrated and proprietary payment gateway and merchant service provider, as well as for Member Solutions, a leading provider of full-service billing for enterprise businesses, Rick enjoys working through complex business models, and leveraging proven payment processing strategies for maximum effect.

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