Large retailers could jump-start merchant EMV acceptance

by. Brandon Kuehl

With the October 2015 EMV liability shift quickly approaching, three of the nation’s biggest retailers, Walmart, Kroger and Target, are busily pushing ahead with their own EMV upgrades.

Walmart started updating its payment terminals in U.S. stores eight years ago. Currently, 4,200 of Walmart’s 4,800 terminals are activated and taking credit EMV transactions. The retailer can accept both chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN cards at point-of-sale (POS) terminals, where consumers with a chip-equipped card will be prompted to use the chip reader instead of the mag stripe reader. By the end of 2014, the discount superstore plans to have new payment terminals running in all U.S. locations. In addition, before year-end, it will replace Walmart-branded cards with chip versions. Currently, the retailer is processing more than 50,000 EMV transactions per day.

Likewise, Target announced early this year it would switch its Redcard credit and debit cards to MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN technology and install a chip-enabled POS system.

With the nation’s largest retailers wholeheartedly on board with EMV, the question is: Will other merchants be prompted to follow suit? A recent Digital Transactions News survey says yes.


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