EMV implementation is a waiting game

Neil Turner / CC BY-SA 2.0

The transition to EMV technology for credit card transactions was supposed to be complete last October, but fewer than half of retailers report being in compliance thanks to delays in certification by the banking industry.

Just 48 percent of retailers told the National Retailer Federation in a survey they had implemented the new chip card system or expected to have done so by the end of June. A total of 86 percent expect to have EMV operational by the end of the year.

"The key issue here beyond the number of retailers who have installed the new equipment is the number waiting to get it certified," NRF Senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan wrote in a blog post.
Close to 60 percent said they had been waiting six months or longer for certification.

Some 57 percent said they had already installed the card readers and other equipment but were still waiting for certification by the card industry so they could turn it on.

"It also means that many retailers have been stuck with millions of dollars in fraud costs they shouldn't have to bear," Duncan said. Transactions not made with the new chip cards leave retailers liable for fraud costs. "In addition to fraud involving the new chip cards, some retailers say fraud from traditional magnetic stripe cards – which is the banks' responsibility – is being improperly attributed to lack of a chip reader and charged to retailers."

The survey is just another piece of information in the finger-pointing going on between retailers and the banking industry as EMV adoption drags on. Approximately 58 percent of those surveyed said EMV is their top payments-related challenge for 2016 and 72 percent said it was their top payments initiative for the year.

For more:
- see this NRF blog post

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