Some vendors are offering special promotions. Payments startup Square Inc. in June began offering merchants one Square reader that meets the new chip-card standards at no charge. Square won’t say how many have taken up the offer, or whether the new readers will be delivered by Oct. 1, though it promises to cover EMV-related chargebacks for small businesses that have ordered the new reader.
iHospital’s switch will cost about $15,000, or roughly $600 per terminal. “We use a custom system so our options are really, really limited,” said Mr. Newman. In all, merchants will spend $7 billion on new payment terminals and related software, estimates Strawhecker Group, a payments consulting firm