Consumers don't mind EMV shift at all

Category: Merchant Processing Industry

While there has been some speculation that consumers haven't really taken to the use of EMV on a regular basis, the fact is that they have been using it more often as adoption among merchants improves. Further, it seems that despite some initial qualms about wait times and potential fears about security, people are now largely on board with the relatively new type of payment platform.

Today, close to 80 percent of shoppers say they have a positive view of EMV payments, and more than 2 in 5 say they actually prefer to pay with chip-and-PIN rather than the traditional magnetic strip, according to a new survey from Nerdwallet. After a year of EMV being the standard at least for the nation's largest merchants, about 3 in every 4 people say they've used the platform, despite the fact that fewer than 1 in 3 retailers were actually set up to handle this type of transaction.

People are feeling better about EMV these days.People are feeling better about EMV these days.

Data suggests some difficulties remain
However, even as people are overwhelmingly warm to this type of purchase, there may still be some confusion about how EMV works and why it's important. For instance, about 1 in 5 still think processing an EMV payment takes more than 30 seconds (though 59 percent say it takes 15 seconds or less). Further, fewer than half say people benefit from EMV technology.

But one of the biggest issues here is that consumers still don't know when or how they should use EMV to make a purchase, the report said. In all, 39 percent of respondents said that they now "dip" their card into an EMV-ready machine as the default type of payment they aim for, rather than swiping. But because many merchants aren't set up for handling EMV, even if they have the right point-of-sale devices to do so. As such, that can lead to consumer frustration. Further, only 13 percent say they still use swiping a magnetic stripe as their primary means of payment.

What about merchants?
Meanwhile, acceptance of EMV - and more specifically the ability to see its benefits - is on the rise among merchants of all sizes as well, according to a report from Payments Source. Data suggests that only about 1 in 20 merchants say they're still on the fence about EMV or simply won't get it at all. That's down from about 1 in 3 just two years ago. Meanwhile, nearly 70 percent of merchants say they've at least started the process of converting to EMV, with more than 40 percent saying they've actually finished it already. Another 1 in 4 or so say they are going to start that process soon or at least are planning to do so.

Those who haven't yet adopted, or are even still on the fence, might want to think about the benefits of starting the process as soon as possible. That's because the certification process typically takes a few months to complete, so even those who make the move now probably won't actually be able to start accepting EMV purchases until early next year.