How to keep EMV confusion from ruining Christmas

Payment systems could be this year's holiday Grinch as retailers haltingly roll out new EMV card readers or watch shoppers struggle to use the ones already in place.

The majority of Black Friday shoppers plan to pay for in-store purchases with credit or debit cards, according to a recent survey by BestBlackFriday.com. Still, the migration from magnetic stripe cards to EMV is not going as quickly or smoothly as the industry needs, particularly now that holiday shopping is in full swing.

Roughly 27 percent of shoppers will check other stores before settling to buy a product from a retailer that previously experienced a cyberattack, and 8 percent will not shop at these retailers at all, according to KPMG's "2014 Holiday Shopping Survey".

Many larger national retailers have still not installed new card readers, but those who have are facing some shopper backlash thanks to customer confusion at the checkout and longer processing times for chip readers to handle transactions. Nearly 60 percent of cardholders now have an EMV chip card, according to payment services provider Ingenico Group. But other estimates put that figure much lower, at roughly 40 percent, according to RSR Research's Paula Rosenblum.

Regardless, chip cards are out and being used. Those retailers accepting them—both Target and Walmart are on that list—face longer checkout times and confused customers.

Nearly 33 percent of U.S. cardholders who tried using an EMV chip card at the point of sale were not aware of how to use them. Signage or other educational materials could help speed things along, advises Ingenico. Line-busting services, mobile wallets and mobile POS systems will also help, for those retailers that have them.

    View full Ingenico infographic for merchant holiday preparation

Past holiday seasons have been negatively impacted by security issues and currently 42 percent of shoppers say their purchasing decisions are affected by a security breach.

For more:
-See this BestBlackFriday survey

Related stories:
Target: Timeline of a data breach
Cyber security affects consumer holiday spending
Eataly reports possible POS hack
Retail security issues move from CIO to the C-suite
Walmart banks on mobile payments, chip-and-PIN
 

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