Consumer curiosity about EMV ramps up

by: Nicole Reyes

U.S. consumers want EMV, and they want it soon.  A recent MasterCard survey states 57 percent of Americans expect to receive an EMV card in the next six months. News of recent data breaches, it seems, has finally hit home.

Media coverage of system intrusions at businesses like Target, Neiman Marcus and P.F. Chang’s has brought merchant susceptibility to the forefront of consumers’ minds. They are not only paying attention; they are calling for change. Simply put, consumers don’t feel as safe as they once did.

According to an interview with MasterCard’s VP of Electronic Payments Oliver Manahan, the stateside EMV roll out began with a focus on providing a more reliable card for travelers. That focus was almost exclusively aimed at credit card portfolios. Now, Manahan says, “… it appears that both credit and debit will be going out in the coming months, at least for big issuers.”

While not new to the international payments industry, EMV is newly adapted to the U.S. The more U.S. financial institutions, large and small, that issue EMV, the less “new” it becomes. Most large U.S. merchants have already started to upgrade their checkouts for EMV capabilities (as you may have noticed in your local Target and Walmart stores, for example). As large issuers begin to mail out EMV chip cards, word of mouth spreads. Credit union and community banks, if they haven’t already, will soon be receiving more inquiries from cardholders curious about the status of their own EMV cards.

continue reading »