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A New Survey Finds That Merchants Are Slightly Behind Schedule in Their Ability to Accept and Process Chip Enabled Credit Cards


4_18_16The United States experiences 47 percent of global credit card fraud, according to Security Magazine, primarily due to the volume of magnetic strip cards still in use. Earlier this year, The Strawhecker Group found that only 37 percent of companies put measures in place to meet EMVco’s requirements whereby merchants would be able to accept Chip and PIN cards, although 72 percent are expected to be ready to process chip cards by the end of 2016. The group originally estimated that, as of the survey date, 44 percent of businesses would be capable of processing chip-enabled credit cards, but merchants are behind schedule for the following reasons.

Poor Timing of the Original Deadline

Holiday store preparations were well underway by October in 2015, so trying to fit in an EMV-capable POS system upgrade or an entirely new solution was problematic. Many businesses lacked the time or resources to deploy and fully test the systems before the end-of-year rush occurred.

Failure to See the Business Value of EMV

Other merchants ran into problems understanding the business value of EMV adoption. Stores with low costs per total order, such as a fast food restaurant, continue to be slower to adopt chip card readers since fraudulent transactions historically haven’t cost these businesses as much as a company selling high-value products.

Frustration with the Banks

Your customers may not have chip cards yet, depending on the banks serving your local area. As of December 2015, Visa had issued more than 212 million chip cards in the United States, but it could take up to five years before merchants see most transactions going through with EMV. Some merchants are frustrated with the banking industry’s speed at issuing chip cards, as well as the decision to use chip and signature cards instead of the more secure chip and PIN variety.

Merchant EMV adoption is slower than initially projected, but the majority of stores will have this technology in place by the end of 2016. Your business may be on the fence about changing your POS system to accept chip cards, but the fraud prevention features available with these cards provide significant benefits for your store and your customers’ peace of mind.