Consumers, merchants want to better understand EMV

Category: Merchant Processing Industry

It should come as no surprise to anyone in the payments or retail industries that EMV adoption efforts are getting better, but still experience the occasional hiccup. It's also not really news to say that in a lot of cases, those issues are related to how consumers feel about this emerging payment process. However, the more that can be done on the part of all businesses involved in the EMV rollout, the better off everyone will be when it comes to understanding and accepting these issues.

For example, one of the big frustrations people had when the EMV liability shift first went into effect late last year was that these transactions took much longer, in their estimation, than the previous card swiping method they'd been using for years, according to a report from TMG Financial Services. They likely didn't realize why that was the case, and what the benefit of switching to EMV actually was, but really only experienced a perceived slowdown in transactions that made them frustrated with the process.

As EMV becomes more ubiquitous, consumers should have fewer frustrations.As EMV becomes more ubiquitous, consumers should have fewer frustrations.

What can be done?
Many Americans pushed back initially but now, as time has gone on and more businesses large and small have adopted EMV transactions, that initial resistance is fading, the report said. However, some frustrations may still linger, and it could be wise for companies to help their employees understand the shift as well. That way, when a customer expresses whatever potential issues they may have with the new transaction process, that worker will be ready to explain the situation and the benefits of switching to EMV in the first place.

But it's not just consumers
However, it's also worth noting that in many of these cases, businesses may have a lot of questions about the "why" and "how" of EMV adoption as well, according to a report from CSO Online. Part of the reason for this may be the tiered roll-out (some companies have to have EMV in place already, while others do not) and the problems that have cropped up in the certification process over the last several months, such as the lengthy wait times many merchants have faced to get approval. However, it's worth noting that on some level, many of these hiccups were expected.

"No one in the industry actually expected it to be done by now," Allen Friedman, vice president of payment solutions at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Ingenico, a leading global payments technology company in France, told the site. "The U.S. is the most complex payment system in the world. It was surprising that anyone got done by October 1."

Right now, it's believed that somewhere between 13 percent and 15 percent of all merchants in the U.S. are EMV-capable, and that number is growing all the time, the report said.

Meanwhile, the world's three largest payment processors are also taking steps to ensure that companies and consumers alike can get through the EMV rollout with greater ease. These payment giants are both speeding up the certification process and working to reduce the amount of time each transaction takes.