Secure credit card tech means liability shift for business owners

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Our country is now catching up with a secure technology established in other countries -- protecting our information when we make purchases -- with a little chip on our plastic.

It's called an EMV chip will be encoded in most of the cards. EMV stands for the companies that helped create it EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa.

Banks currently absorb the losses from stolen or fraudulent purchases. But a fast approaching deadline will strip business owners of that security if they don't get EMV readers.

"I feel like I am between a rock and hard place," said Lynn Crumbly, owner of the Whistlestop Sweet Shop in Madison. "I'd like to offer this to my customers and to have it for myself and be secure."

But they're not exactly cheap, and Crumbly says they require extra add-ons if you take tips like restaurants.

"They even have to have some wireless equipment to take to the tables," she explained. "It's an expensive process and something to think about."

Small business owners are not required to get the more expensive EMV card readers but if they don't, come October, they may be held responsible for any purchases made with a stolen or fraudulent credit card.

"If I take a card that was a stolen card and accept it and that person goes on to the next store and uses it," said Crumbly. "Because I don't have the chip reader in my store, it's possible I could be held responsible."

She may have to pay up for not having the card reader that could've caught it -- and possibly stopped it.

She and other business owners will have to either spring for it now or risk high penalties due to someone else's criminal acts later.

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