Retailers’ EMV conversion still a work in progress

With 600 million EMV chip-enabled credit cards projected to be in the hands of U.S. consumers by the end of 2015, the EMV conversion is well underway in this country.

While many major retailers have already begun implementing EMV terminals, some data indicates merchants continue to lag behind in preparedness. Recent reports have retailer non-compliance ranging from 25 percent to 44 percent. Even so, Javelin predicts the October liability shift will motivate merchants to self-educate on EMV and begin adopting the technology by October 2016.

As the Javelin report points out, the financial consequences of the liability shift will likely incentivize retailers to amp up their EMV conversion efforts. Further incentive to upgrade will be the near field communication (NFC) technology available in the newer terminals. This will allow merchants to accept mobile wallets including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

The majority of retailers that have yet to upgrade to EMV chip-enabled terminals are smaller merchants, and Javelin predicts more than 50 percent of large retailers will be EMV ready by the end of 2015.

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