EMV is a new global standard for credit and debit card transactions at the point of sale. In the United States, the liability shift went into effect October 1, 2015, however, the migration to EMV use has been slower than expected and many retailers have not made the switch.
What’s the problem?
Because EMV-compatible cards have an embedded computer chip in them, new equipment is required on the retailer’s end…and it’s not a cheap upgrade. Ultimately, though, they should want this because the smart chips create a unique transaction code which dramatically reduces the opportunity for fraud. (And the banks are no longer going to assume the responsibility for non-EMV transactions.)
That said, a recent Debit Issuer Survey revealed that 90 percent of financial institutions in the country have begun issuing EMV-equipped cards; although only 25 percent of the total number of cards out there will be equipped with EMV by the end of 2015. While bigger retailers like Walmart and Target are upgrading terminals to accept EMV cards, smaller merchants are much slower to upgrade. The Strawhecker Group found that about 27 percent of smaller merchants were ready as of October 1, 2015.
It’s not all that surprising that merchant acceptance has been sluggish. As consumers become more familiar with the EMV process, they will begin to expect it when they transact and that’s what will probably drive widespread acceptance.
Copyright 2015 Intrepid Payment Processing