Like any change of this size, business owners, value-added resellers (VARs), and vendors experienced bumps in the road. But with the rising fraud overtaking merchants and card issuers in the United States, upgrading to a more secure card technology at the point of sale couldn't wait any longer.
Moving from static data transactions via magnetic stripe to dynamic, single-use transactions via embedded microchip prevents fraudsters from creating counterfeit cards and secures valuable card data. When chip cards and readers were introduced in other countries around the world like Canada and the UK, rates of fraud fell dramatically.
Despite the documented benefits of chip cards, there are still dissenting voices, those who believe that the card industry in the United States failed VARs and merchants by forcing EMV adoption. It's true that the process hasn't been easy for everyone, but as time passes, chip cards are gaining a foothold with retailers and consumers.
The state of EMV adoption in the United States
With the EMV transition happening just before the busiest shopping season of the year, many businesses delayed planned upgrades. But as the calendar turned to 2016, more cards were issued, and more terminals were replaced.
MasterCard reports that two-thirds (67 percent) of its consumer credit cards were chip-enabled as of March 31, 2016. For Visa, a third of all cards had chips by the end of February 2016, a 406 percent increase over the past year. At the six-month mark following EMV adoption, 70 percent of consumers carried a chip card, up from 14 percent prior to the change.
A January 2016 study by The Strawhecker Group indicated that 37 percent of retailers polled were capable of processing chip card payments at the point of sale. In the first quarter of 2016, Visa reported almost a million chip-enabled merchant locations, while MasterCard was just a bit higher, with 1.2 million merchants able to process EMV transactions.
These numbers signal a continuing opportunity for VARs, especially as chip cards saturate the consumer market and push merchants to accept the more secure technology.
The EMV transition is still happening
While the official October 2015 transition date has passed, and liability has shifted for some fraudulent transactions, many merchants have yet to initiate upgrades at the point of sale. Reasons for the delay vary from business to business, but many business owners are simply looking for guidance from a trusted professional. That's where you come in.
Now is a great time to focus onhelping your customers become EMV-ready, if they haven't already. No matter how you feel about EMV adoption in the United States, focusing your energy on helping your clients create the most secure and functional point-of-sale solution must be one of your highest priorities.
The card industry didn't fail VARs during the transition, so don't fail your customers when they need you.
How has the move to EMV affected you and your clients?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremiah Shea leads Ingram Micro’s DC/POS Payments Program and provides support for vendors like Verifone, Ingenico, Magtek, ID Tech, and Equinox. He has been part of the DC/POS division at Ingram Micro now for five years, working with all facets of the business for strategic execution. Jeremiah has also become the subject matter expert on EMV readiness and overall payments strategy. With a technical background and a sound understanding of the business, he is a great resource to tap for any and all questions relating to EMV, but more broadly anything DC/POS related as well.
Phone: 1-800-456-8000 ext 64810