EMV’s Losses May Be Contactless Payment’s Gain

June 30, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

It’s a tale of two mobile payment options: how Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) systems aren’t doing all that well in the recent shift, and how contactless payments by near field communications (NFC) may be able to step in and take over as a result.

Though it may sound hard to believe given that credit card companies have been largely behind EMV terminal installations, and without such terminals in place, businesses may be on the hook for fraud involved, the migration to EMV has been filled with problems since before its announcement.

Despite the switch taking place back last October, 70 percent of U.S consumers actually have the cards in hand.

Never mind the fact that it’s been almost a year and roughly a third of consumers don’t actually have the necessary cards, because it only gets worse from there.

Reports suggest that actually using an EMV card is proving to be a little tougher to get used to than many foresaw, and that’s making each transaction take a little longer than it should.

When there are large numbers of transactions, those delays can add up, and when you throw in the numbers of users inadvertently leaving a card behind, that only makes things worse.

Merchants, naturally, don’t want to install systems that make a customer experience worse. No one wants the fraud liability, but if no one’s buying anyway, the whole store is shut.

That’s where contactless payments are stepping in, offering faster, more familiar transactions that prevent lines and keep users moving along smoothly. A better customer experience, greater likelihood of return business, and more adds up to a more preferable method.

Businesses want return business, and if EMV can’t provide the kind of customer experience businesses—and customers—want, then EMV is likely out.

Naturally, EMV makers are frantically working to fix the problems associated with its system, but in order to truly be viable going forward, they’ll have to make these fixes happen quick before inertia can set in and lock them out of the market.

People have a lot of choices when it comes to payments today, and for that choice to be EMV, it’s going to have plenty to do and little time to do it.