The EMV transition is coming in October and it will affect all of your merchants, regardless of their size. The unfortunate fact is that only about 25% of merchants are on track to be capable to take EMV transactions by that time. While this is a problem for every merchant, smaller merchants will be disproportionately affected especially those that typically have large ticket transactions. After October 1, how many of your merchants will be able to shoulder the cost of fraud? To make sure you’re doing the best thing for your merchants you should be leading the charge in helping them make the switch. Unfortunately, that’s usually easier said than done because merchants don’t understand the seriousness of the transition or they are nervous about investing in new terminals or training staff on changes.
To make it easier, we’ve put together four quick tips on making the transition easier for your merchants. We hope you find them useful and would love to hear any other ideas that you might have already used.
If you’ve been following the re-design of our website, recent blog posts or previous issues of Agent Insights you know that we’re big fans of transparency. We believe that’s the most important aspect of our relationship with agents and merchants. When you’re talking to a merchant about upgrading their terminals, don’t use scare tactics, don’t pretend that EMV is a new “law” and don’t be disingenuous about the time and resources it will take to make the switch. Honesty and transparency is the best policy and if you’re upfront with your customers, they’re more likely to reciprocate.
Outline the costs
Let’s face it, your merchants are price sensitive and that’s okay. It takes a lot to run a business and no one wants to spend more on something as integral as payment processing. Make sure that merchants know that their cost for processing is not going to go up when they switch. The majority of the cost is going to be in upgrading the terminals. With Tidal, we actually offer discounted or free terminals for qualified merchants.
Offer training support
Another reason merchants are hesitant to make the EMV transition is getting all of their staff onboard with the new changes. If your merchants need help with training, offer to help them! You don’t need to go into each of their locations and hold their hands through the process but you can direct them to great resources like the Tidal Insights Blog or a number of other online resources. You can even go so far as writing up a how-to guide yourself to distribute it to your customers. When you eliminate another one of the roadblocks you make it easier for your merchants to be more protected with EMV.
A sure fire way to come off as “sales-y” is forgetting to regularly communicate with your merchants. When you’re talking to your merchants about EMV, don’t bring it up out of the blue. If it’s been awhile since you talked with your merchants, gradually start getting into regular contact with them again before you start making them aware of the transition and the investment that it will take.
We hope you found these tips helpful and we’d love to hear your thoughts on them!