EMV, or that fancy chip thingie that many of you are starting to see in your banking cards here in the US, is an anti-fraud technology released in the 90s with global adoption. US markets are finally taking steps to encourage adoption here, and for the most part, nobody is ready.
There is a key date coming up in October of this year. Essentially, merchants who have invested in EMV terminals that are capable of processing a transaction (meaning, the EMV slot can’t just be for show) will benefit from protections if counterfeit cards are used at their location. If they don’t, they are unable to seek relief for chargebacks coming from fraudulent charge reports. It’s the carrot method for driving adoption. This explanation from Visa puts it fairly plainly.
But at a recent meeting of over 300 financial services professionals that cover a significant swath of the US processing market, we made a shocking discovery. When asked how many of them felt like they have enough information on EMV to handle it inside their organization and with their customers, not a single hand went up.
This might be expected if the date was a couple of years into the future, but we’re talking about six months. Six months to some companies might seem like an eternity; but in the financial services vertical, six months can be a blip. It truly will be here before they know it.
Here is my guess on what is happening. These improvements take time, and banks are not rushing to slam the changes through. They will let the date pass and monitor the fraud closely. If it accelerates in the card-present channel, they will accelerate their deployments. Otherwise, they will stick to their schedules.
What are YOUR plans for EMV? Put them in the comments below!