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Payment security technology is top-of-mind for most retail IT executives who are seriously considering, if not aggressively adopting, EMV chip card systems, tokenization, Apple Pay and point-to-point encryption. All are important, but none are complete solutions in and of themselves.
Two recent studies confirm that card issuers are making rapid progress in deploying EMV chip cards. One study issued by EMVCo reported that there are now 3.4 billion EMV cards in circulation, up 43 percent from last year's 2.37 billion, and the other, issued by The Strawhecker Group, said the majority of issuers' card portfolios will be updated by the end of the year.
Payment options have become central to customers' shopping experience and remain a very big concern for many retailers, yet more than half of retailers are hesitant to invest in the desired technology.
Apple Pay continued to make major inroads into the retail payments ecosystem this week, landing a major retail chain and the last holdout of the card provider networks. Best Buy and Discover are now in the fold.
Visa has no intention of extending the October fraud liability shift deadline for EMV chip cards. The credit and debit card network will continue its rollout plan for EMV even though a majority of retailers and some banks won't be ready for it in October. That's when retailers or banks will assume liability for fraudulent card use depending on who is least prepared to accept the EMV chip cards.
As the payment wars between retailers and credit card issuers rage on, both sides would be well served if the EMV October fraud liability shift deadline were pushed back, because neither group is fully prepared to meet it. The dispute has been brewing for months and stems in no small part from the long and bloody conflict over card interchange fees. There's no love lost between retailers and their banking partners.