EMV Migration Ramps Up As Retailers Race Toward Fraud Liability Shift Date

04 Aug 2014

I had the chance to sit in on a recent webinar hosted by our partners at VeriFone entitled “EMV Implementation Tools For Success,” where listeners were schooled on not only what EMV technology is, but why it’s so important to their business – especially as the industry draws closer to the October 2015 liability shift date.

For those of you who don’t yet know, EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa and is the global standard for chip cards to facilitate electronic payment transactions. By “global standard” we mean that the deployment rates of EMV terminals are well over 50% in just about every region of the world, except North America.

While EMV technology does not prevent all fraud, the chip makes a card harder to duplicate, and the PIN, or personal identification number that is different than a debit PIN, more difficult for a thief to manipulate.

Although EMV technology is undeniably more secure than magstripe cards and readers, the majority of U.S. merchants are reluctant to adopt the new technology for many reasons, namely the cost of investment (time and money), as well as their current lack of infrastructure to support integration.

What’s important to note here is that card issuers aren't really concerned with the inconvenience this move will impose on U.S. retailers. They’re just eager to get their debit and credit cards switched over to EMV technology because they will be held liable for credit card fraud until October 2015 when liability shifts to merchants. Therefore, in order to continue thriving in the industry retailers must get on board with migration plans sooner than later.

Here are just some of the challenges that retailers can anticipate with the migration:

  • EMV components, kernels for contact and contactless can and will change
  • New cards with new functionalities will be issued, so merchants will need to be ready to accept payment
  • Interoperability will be impacted if devices are not kept up to speed
  • Contactless software components, EMV and for NFC initiatives, will require updates and changes to remain field-ready for new cards

Obviously, this is a really big industry-wide endeavor and we realize that many of our customers have a lot to consider over the next twelve months. If you have any questions, feel free to email us and we can help guide you in the right direction for your store.

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