Reaching merchants that still haven't switched to EMV

Category: Merchant Processing Industry

While the EMV liability shift took place about a year ago, there are still some merchants that have yet to make the switch to the new and improved payment platform. There may be many reasons why those businesses have opted to hold out, but regardless of their cause for trepidation, the fact remains that making the switch can be hugely beneficial. The sooner they take that step, the better off they, their customers or clients, and even the entire payments ecosystem will be.

Perhaps the biggest reason for merchants to make the switch now is that the certification process takes some time for businesses to get through (often a few months for each payment processor), according to a report from And the rate at which companies of smaller and smaller size are becoming liable for fraudulent non-EMV purchases is picking up steam. For this reason, those companies that haven't switched yet may find themselves paying far greater fees to payment giants as a result of whatever card-present fraud they happen to suffer.

EMV is becoming more widely used, but some merchants are still behind the times.EMV is becoming more widely used, but some merchants are still behind the times.

Getting over the issue
It might therefore be wise for merchants to consider the cost of fraud when comes to how they can budget for the sometimes costly point-of-sale devices, the report said. While it's not always easy to afford a handful of new card readers, or even just one, given that they cost a few hundred dollars apiece, weighing that one-time cost against the potential ongoing fraud liability may serve as a strong motivator for gun shy merchants that have yet to make the switch.

And this kind of investment can also be wise because, as mobile payments likewise grow in popularity, the fact is that many POS devices now allow for both EMV and mobile transactions, the report said. With this in mind, merchants can catch two simultaneous trends before they really start to gain mainstream traction. That, in turn, can help to establish them as early adopters among eager consumers.

More impetus to move
Meanwhile, some of the world's largest payment processors likewise recognize the potential issues facing smaller merchants in particular. As a consequence, MasterCard - the world's second-largest payment processor - recently announced a new program called MasterCard Developers. In doing so, it will open its Application Programming Interfaces to select partners so that they can develop apps to help provide even more ease of use in the new EMV-friendly ecosystem.

"The new platform will serve as a key way to integrate MasterCard technology and services into their digital solutions in an easy and cost-effective way," said Oran Cummins, senior vice president for APIs at MasterCard. "And, consumers will benefit from the simpler, faster and safer experiences driven by these efforts."

For all these reasons, those merchants that remain on the fence about moving to EMV-ready point-of-sale devices in the near future should consider doing so sooner than later. Making that change can help them prepare for a payment environment in which consumers not only prefer EMV, but expect it.