EMV Still Proves a Problem for Retailers

May 18, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It’s actually a surprise to consider it, but it’s been almost two years since the Europay / Mastercard / Visa (EMV) system kicked in in the United States, prompting outcry and change—both gradual and frantic—along with it.

Yet even after all this, there are still said to be troubles that come along with it. New reports suggest that, even now, the EMV standard isn’t that standard at all, and there are plenty of businesses having trouble even getting it in play.

EMV is no longer an option for businesses that take credit cards, and card issuers are more than ready to target businesses for fraudulent credit card charges if said businesses aren’t using EMV-compliant systems.

Yet thanks to the troubles connected with said transfer, both Visa and American Express have pushed back the liabilities on at least some purchases, particularly the smaller ones, through April of 2018.

Yet even with these delays and help, EMV is proving to be a major headache for the retailers and merchants; a combination of cost and complexity has rendered EMV too difficult to use for most, and the setup procedures are proving disastrous as well.

Fifty-seven percent of merchants have installed EMV systems, but can’t actually use these systems because system certification hasn’t occurred. Out of that number, 60 percent have been waiting at least six months for the system certification.

Bad news by any measure, but there’s good news on hand; while the changeover has been a little messier than anyone would like to see, progress has been taking place and there are even observable models to take lessons from. With several major nations already using this platform, it’s proof it can be done.

The problem, most likely, came with too high of expectations, that this could be put in place in a matter of months and merchants could be essentially told to just “get it done.” We’re already seeing how that didn’t work—and how!—and finding that maybe the solution would have been a more gradual rollout.

Still, we’re on our way, and the move to EMV is fairly close at hand. It shouldn’t be too much longer before it’s successfully concluded, and with it, a safer mobile payments structure using the old-fashioned credit card as an improved base.