Small businesses transitioning to chipped card readers

Local businesses are paying out for your protection. They are paying for credit card chip readers.

On Oct. 1, businesses were required to be chip compliant. The chips are designed to keep you safe from fraud and reduce data breeches by encrypting your information. But in order to do away with the swipe, small businesses have to buy the technology.

Hooper’s Outdoor Center in Paducah does not have the technology for the chip yet, but they’re not the only ones. Their reader is in the mail, but business owners say its been a tough transition.

Their customers’ privacy and protection are important. So, Hooper’s co-manager William Bell says he thoroughly researched the technology needed. He says they can’t recall credit card fraud happening at Hooper’s, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Bell says the store has not seen an instance of fraud in 23 years, but the chipped card security measures are costly. He says they’ve spent thousands of dollars, which could get even costlier. If his business sees any fraud before the technology arrives, it’s Hooper’s responsibility to shoulder the cost.

"We have to do it because we have to stay compliant," Bell says.

Shopper Christa Beyer appreciates the hard work for her protection. "It’s difficult as a small business owner to not only invest in the technology, to do it but then worry about the repercussions," she says.

But Beyer says she’s wary of how much a chipped card will pay off. "They’re trying to make it safer because, obviously, we’ve had problems with the other ones," she says.

But businesses hope they complete the transition to safer technology sooner rather than later.

"It’s supposed to make it more secure and fraud harder to happen but, then again, it’s making all these small businesses — the majority family owned —spend all kinds of money," says Bell.

Something to remember: The chips will only be placed on your credit cards. As for how soon you can use your chipped cards downtown, some businesses have the card readers, but many are still waiting for their various pieces.

If you do not have your chipped credit card yet, you can call your credit card company. But you should receive the card by the end of the year. Regardless, you can still swipe.

Gas stations will not have chipped card readers until 2017 because of gas pump card readers.

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