Why EMV Rollout in the U.S. Is a Failure

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Lack of Prep Time

There wasn't enough time for the changes. The U.S. market is the largest in the world, but was given the least amount of time for businesses to migrate to EMV before the liability shift went into effect. It took time for acquirers to become certified and able to process EMV transactions, Michael English, VP of Product Development for Heartland, one of the nation's largest payment processors, explained. "ISVs and VARs could not start their development and certification process until the acquirers and processors were ready, which caused many POS systems providers to not be ready with a solution by October 1," he added.

October 1, the deadline for credit card companies and retailers in the U.S. to make the switch to the new EMV chip standard and replace the old magnetic strip on credit cards, has come and gone. But according to Forbes, nearly 60 percent of consumers have yet to receive their new upgraded credit cards, nearly 70 percent haven't gotten any information at all about the new chip technology, and those who have received the chip-enabled cards have no idea what the change is all about.

Retailers are probably glad that the new credit cards aren't in heavy circulation yet. Although they are responsible for any credit card fraud occurring at their place of business, merchants have been very slow to adopt the new technology. As International Business Times reported, only 27 percent of businesses were ready for the new standard on October 1, and by the end of the year, the number is expected to reach 44 percent of merchants who accept credit card payments.

The point of the new cards is to decrease the risk of credit card fraud and provide a safer way for financial transactions. Similar to the European credit card experience, the new chip cards will change the way we check out at stores. Card users insert the card into an EMV terminal, where it remains throughout the duration of the transaction. No more swiping a magnetic strip. However, in its survey on consumer awareness of the new EMV changes, Harbortouch found that half of the respondents don't believe that security is going to improve with chip-embedded cards.

All we know for sure right now is that the adoption of the new system is progressing slowly. So why are businesses – and in turn, consumers – so hesitant to embrace EMV chip-enhanced credit cards?


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