Are retailers ready for the EMV deadline?
In the midst of the steady stream of press releases and pitches about the Oct. 1 deadline for businesses to be able to accept new EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) credit cards, it occurred to me that I have received a replacement for only one of the cards I carry. Sure, there are still several days to go before the deadline, but the issuers are cutting it kind of close, no?
In the run-up to the deadline, a public debate has been waged through the media between merchants and financial institutions over which party is ready or not for the deadline.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) even published a response to the "dubious claims" being made by the financial services industry about retailers’ readiness when it comes to the EMV transition. In particular, RILA cited an article in The San Diego Union Tribune in which Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance, made what it says are a number of false claims.
Mr. Vanderhoof says that issuers have sent new cards to most holders, but retailers are lagging behind in activating the new terminals needed to accept the payment.
According to RILA, it is the card issuers that are lagging behind. The group cited numbers for Visa showing that only 18 percent of issued cards in July contained the new chip. It also cited the $8 billion investment being made by retailers to accept the new cards. "Most large retailers will have the new terminals up and running this fall," according to the RILA.
Retailers know that liability for fraudulent charges shifts to them on Oct. 1 if the terminals to accept EMV cards are not operating. Banks that do not issue the cards on time will have the same issue.
It’s in the interest of all parties to get up to speed with the new cards and technology needed to accept them. EMV cards bring with them a greater degree of protection against theft, particularly against counterfeit cards make when thieves steal a person’s card and then duplicate it.
- Banks Making Dubious Claims as Chip Card Liability Shift Approaches – Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Will this chip card cause confusion at store checkout lines? – The San Diego Union Tribune
Have you seen evidence that retailers are ready for the Oct. 1 EMV deadline? What challenges will merchants face accepting this new form of payment?