When it comes to getting more companies to adopt EMV transactions, one of the biggest hurdles the payment processing industry has faced as a whole is the apparent lack of enthusiasm. While the number of merchants that now accept such purchases has risen somewhat sharply over the past several months, it may not have been as robust as many experts were expecting. It's worth noting, however, that some of this issue may be due to what some experts are calling the "certification bottleneck" that has built up in recent months.
What that effectively means is that when merchants - large or small - want to adopt EMV, it's not simply a matter of buying a new point-of-sale device capable of handling such a transaction, plugging it in, and being ready to go, according to a report from ATM Marketplace. Instead, they have to go through a certification process with each of the major payment giants (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) to ensure that they are capable of handling the transaction safely and so on. However, this process can take quite a while in some cases, and the eagerness with which many companies moved to adopt EMV created a huge backlog of businesses that are in the certification process but have not yet been approved.
Moving to correct the issue
In much the same way as the payment giants quickly realized EMV transactions were too slow for most consumers' tastes and moved to remediate the issue, the same is true of certification, the report said. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express have all introduced efforts to streamline how they test and approve companies that want to adopt EMV, so they can ensure these transactions will remain as safe as possible while also helping to get more enabled merchants into the payments ecosystem more quickly. For instance, MasterCard's plans would reduce testing by as much as 80 percent in some cases, thereby helping companies get through the process and start handling EMV much sooner.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that the payment processing giants have also heard concerns about a lot of the rules regarding EMV, and likewise moved to address those, the report said. For instance, Visa and AmEx are both moving to stop requiring businesses to pay chargebacks for fraudulent transactions of less than $25 before the end of summer. The reason they did so in the first place is obvious enough, but retailers often said that the additional costs of dealing with these relatively small transactions added up quickly and reporting them was onerous.
While some merchants may continue to be concerned about the various aspects of adopting EMV, including the up-front cost of new POS devices, the fact is there's not much to be concerned with here. Even the cost of new devices is something that can pay for itself over time by reducing risk of fraud - and therefore chargebacks - across all transactions. That, in turn, makes the entire payments ecosystem safer for everyone.