Last October, the payments industry adapted an EMV liability shift. That event didn’t herald a law or a mandate. Rather, it was a change in who the parties within the payment chain will consider “responsible” if a data breach occurs – namely, whoever did not implement the highest degree of fraud-prevention security when it was available.
More than 6 months have passed since the EMV liability shift. Where do we stand as of mid-year 2016?
The rollout of EMV has been slower than most experts anticipated. Many merchants took a wait and see attitude, delaying costly, time-consuming hardware and software updates until they knew for sure that consumers were interested in EMV.
Log Jams are Clearing
Many merchants were unable to implement EMV even though they were ready. The payments industry wasn’t altogether prepared for the U.S. adaptation of EMV and the October liability deadline. This resulted in a backlog for processors and for the suppliers of terminals. As of early 2016, much of this backlog has eased.
Presently, there are 600 million EMV chip cards in the United States. Industry surveys suggest that about 37% of merchants are prepared to accept EMV cards (far short of projections). However, with operational backlogs clearing and more cardholders receiving the new plastic, analysts predict that over 70% of merchants will be EMV-enabled by year’s end.
Mobile & Contactless
EMV acceptance will continue to accelerate with mobile and contactless payment options. These technologies are enjoying an increase in use, as processing time is marginally faster than the chip and dip. Waiting time during checkout has been a frequent complaint about EMV.