The deadline to become EMV® compliant has come and gone; yet many are still in process of integrating EMV solutions. Delays in adopting EMV solutions may result in liability to businesses and cause detrimental harm in an instance of fraud. Although the overall number of merchants becoming EMV compliant is still low, the U.S. has made progress the past several months to migrate to EMV.
Increased Pressure To Become EMV Compliant
The payments industry has voiced the importance of becoming EMV compliant for some time now and has expressed the consequences of what could occur by delaying implementation. Yet, even though the liability shift has passed, many small businesses still have not made the switch to EMV capable solutions.
Small businesses are still hesitant about how EMV will affect them and if potential chargebacks for fraudulent transactions offset the cost of being compliant. Consequently, they face a significant amount of pressure to incorporate EMV into their payment solutions. Neglecting to add an EMV solution could leave a merchant at a competitive disadvantage by projecting an image that their system is not up to par with the latest security and also by not taking advantage of NFC technology, which is typically available on most EMV terminals.
The good news is that experts predict that more small businesses will begin integrating EMV solutionsthe early part of this year, as more merchants start their certification, training, and testing to accept EMV.
Additional EMV Education Needed
In order for EMV adoption to continue progressing, there needs to be additional education on EMV. Although merchant service providers and sales agents are working to educate small businesses on EMV, there is still a low awareness among smaller merchants.
To help push EMV education, merchants should hold a training session with their employees to cover the basics of EMV technology and how to process a transaction with a chip card. Once employees receive proper training from their employer, they will be better prepared to help consumers with any issues or problems that occur at checkout.
EMV Activity Gradually Rising
The end of 2015 saw a low rate of EMV adoption due to several factors:
- Holidays: Many retailers held off on upgrading to EMV capable solutions prior to the holiday season, as EMV transactions have been reported to take longer to process than standard swipe transactions. With retail lines already longer due to more shoppers, most merchants did not want to add a new payment solution in with the mix and cause even longer lines.
- Lack of Awareness: Although most larger retail merchants were aware and made an investment in advance for the liability shift, smaller businesses rely primarily on their merchant services provider to educate them on new solutions. As a result, many small businesses lacked awareness on the importance of becoming EMV compliant due to a lack of their own resources and time to invest in EMV-capable solutions during busy fall and holiday seasons.
Thankfully, both of these obstacles are viewed as short-term issues and are expected to have a minimum effect on the overall acceptance rate for EMV in its first year. With the holiday rush over, experts predicted an increase of small businesses to begin upgrading their equipment to accept EMV and have noticed an upward trend each month of EMV transactions taking place.
As the migration to EMV acceptance continues to grow in the U.S., small businesses and payment industry experts should continue to push the adoption of EMV solutions. Throughout 2016, there will be an increase in pressure for merchants to become EMV compliant, additional EMV education will be needed, and EMV activity will slowly but surely continue to rise in use.