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Selling payments services to small merchants is never easy. Now, throw in EMV and its attendant complications, add in merchant ignorance of the technology, and the sales pitch gets more complex.

With the impending liability shift set for Oct. 1, independent sales organizations, acquirers, processors, and banks are scrambling to get merchants on board with EMV. The chip card technology should put a dent in point-of-sale fraud, but it can’t do that if consumers can’t use their cards at their favorite merchants.

Small merchants, in particular, are poised to be least ready come October. Getting them to listen to the EMV sales pitch might be tough, but there are ways to make it a little more appealing, as outlined in “10 Ways To Sell Small Merchants on EMV,” a recent Digital Transactions webinar.

One tip is to explain how security-conscious consumers might balk at using magnetic-stripe cards instead of their chip cards. Issuers will be touting the security benefits of chip cards, and while consumers may not understand EMV, they’ll have seen the publicity about data breaches and will want to use it.

Another tip is to bundle EMV with tokenization and encryption services, which is especially useful for merchants that sell online. Using these technologies can do a better job of protecting sensitive card data.

Sales agents can bundle EMV with other services, too, says Rick Oglesby senior analyst at Double Diamond Group, a Centennial, Colo.-based payments advisory firm. Use POS systems, with business-management features, to lead the sales pitch, he suggests.

Digital Transactions, May 15, 2015