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Dispel 3 common EMV adoption myths

February 16, 2017

Dispel 3 common EMV adoption myths

Despite the importance of EMV and the liability shift that took place back in 2015, EMV adoption didn’t exactly start with a bang, but with more of a fizzle. The card brands, payment companies, hardware vendors and media were all urging a shift to EMV, but the payments ecosystem just wasn’t ready for the liability shift. With a lack of clarity and actual ready-for-market options, many solution providers and merchants checked out on the topic of EMV because, even if they wanted to pursue EMV upgrades, they couldn’t. Or, at least, their options weren’t great.

Since those early days, things have improved, and EMV adoption rates are on the rise.  In fact, Visa’s latest stats show that the U.S. market is at nearly 39% conversion.  Despite so many still needing to upgrade, there are some solution providers and merchants who are disengaged from the EMV topic and aren’t making EMV upgrades a priority. In many cases, they’ve fallen for misconceptions, or myths, about EMV.  But those myths are proving to be false.

Whether or not you believe these myths, you most likely have customers who do, so here’s how to overcome their skepticism.

Myth 1 "EMV solutions aren't available"

Early on, certified EMV solutions were few and far between. However, today, there are plenty of proven EMV-ready solutions for the market, with more to come. In fact, the most common payment terminals by the largest vendors have been certified by most of the largest payment companies. And, now that US-based payment processors and gateway providers have gained firsthand experience with EMV certifications, their speed to market has increased. They’ve also been able to increase the speed at which independent software vendors can perform integrations. In addition, merchants can choose from EMV solutions that fit their needs—from countertop solutions to mobile, and from full-featured to entry level cost-conscious. In short, EMV solutions are available today and solution providers and merchants have many choices.

Myth 2 "Fraud isn't an issue in my business"

Despite threats of chargebacks in fraud cases where EMV-compliant solutions weren’t in place, some lucky merchants haven’t felt the sting. In their minds, there’s a tipping point between the cost of upgrades and the penalty of chargebacks. Eventually, this line of thought will catch up to them. As we discussed in last month’s blog, fraud is happening and retailers and restaurateurs are getting hit with chargebacks—to the tune of nearly $6 billion in 2016. As more merchants upgrade to EMV, criminals will set their sights on those who haven’t upgraded. It’s only a matter of time before your customers are affected personally. So, while fraud might not be an issue for them today, it certainly will be an issue in the near future.

Myth 3 "EMV upgrades are too expensive"

Some industry estimates put the cost of an EMV upgrade at $1,000 per terminal. Depending on your customer, this cost might be an obstacle. However, savvy solution providers aren’t simply recommending EMV upgrades based solely on reducing fraud. Rather, they’re showing merchants  additional benefits of today’s latest-generation payment terminals—such as apps and cloud services that give merchants (even small retailers) the ability to get involved with loyalty and customer-engagement services to access new revenue streams. Today’s terminals also address the preferred payment methods of the future—contactless payment services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. All told, apart from additional security, today’s newest terminals can deliver an impactful ROI that’s nearly immediate.

The reality is that merchants can’t afford not to upgrade to EMV. Solutions exist that not only address increased security, but deliver revenue-generating value-added benefits. If you aren’t making this clear to your customers, you’re doing them a disservice and missing a revenue-generating opportunity for yourself.