Businesses big and small are preparing for a major shift in their credit and debit card systems.
Beginning Thursday, credit card issuers will shift responsibility for fraudulent transactions to merchants. The new cards are called EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and include a microchip intended to reduce fraud. Swiping the magnetic strips of traditional credit and debit cards eventually will be phased out.
"Small-business merchants have had a lot of success in upgrading machines that are rather 'plug and play' in the $100 to $200 range," said Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of risk products at Visa. "But it will take a few years before we get to critical mass" on the new technology, said Ericksen, who made the comments on a conference call Wednesday.
The shift is especially important for smaller merchants who usually have limited resources for technology upgrades, including ways to protect against fraud. And the cost of data breaches has increased significantly for small companies.
In 2014, cyberfraud cost a small business an average of around $20,000 in damages, up from $8,600 in 2013, according to data from the National Small Business Administration.