Local businesses still resisting chip reader machines

The machines can be expensive, but also prevent fraud

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been one year since chip-enabled credit and debit cards were introduced, but not every business its chip readers.

With any big technological transition, there are always difficult adjustments, The days of swiping your credit card are almost a thing of the past. Over the last year, consumers have transitioned to inserting chip-enabled cards, where new machines encrypt the chip’s data and make sure it’s authentic.

Even though these chip cards can be good for business owners, especially those looking to prevent credit card fraud, not every business has these new machines. For one, they’re expensive for many small businesses, however there’s a price they pay if a card is compromised at a store without a chip reader.

Tony Russell-Smith, who works at Yes Computers in Northampton, told 22News a data breach could cost them more than a chip machine.

“We end up paying for the costs of the breach. If we didn’t have these fancy chip readers and our payment processes didn’t support them, we are essentially liable for fraud that happens at our stores.”

Russell-Smith says that there is a reason why you may not be seeing these chip readers at bigger grocery stores and retailers. He says the success of many of these businesses relies on the number of customers they see every day. The chip readers take a few seconds longer than the old swipe did, so, if it takes longer, there are fewer customers and that’s not good for business.

Russell-Smith says more than half of businesses in Northampton have the chip readers, but many don’t have them turned on because the vendors haven’t changed over their payment systems.