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With EMV (the secure chip-and-PIN card technology already standard in Europe) getting rolled out in the U.S., the major card networks are forming their road maps for EMV implementation. That includes deadlines for merchants to update their equipment to accept the new cards, incentives for doing it early and penalties for doing it late. The first incentives kick in October 2012.

So what does this mean for your business? If you’re feeling lost and wondering what you need to do to prepare for EMV, relax. You’ve still got plenty of time to consider your options, says Todd Ablowitz, founder and president of Double Diamond Group, which provides consulting services to the global electronic payments and mobile payments industry.

Merchants already planning on getting a new point of service (POS) terminal and updating their point-of-sale equipment would be “foolish” not to get one with EMV technology — and possibly near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows a terminal to accept smartphone payments, Ablowitz says.

Merchant Account Guide, August 24, 2012