EMV transition getting easier, but more still needs to be done

Category: Payment Processing Technologies

Over the past several months, a large portion of the merchants in the U.S. have at least looked into the prospect of adopting EMV as their primary means of processing credit and debit card transactions. But it must be said that many have run into roadblocks and frustrations even if they were eager adopters. As a consequence, more is being done to facilitate smoother transition processes, and there might be additional steps worth taking here as well.

One of the biggest issues in the adoption process is that in terms of the percentage of retailers and other merchants that have actually started using EMV remains relatively small. There's also plenty of evidence to suggest that's not necessarily on the merchants themselves, according to a report from STORES Magazine. That is to say that many have started the adoption process but gotten held up when it comes to getting certified to handle these transactions, through no fault of their own.

With EMV becoming an easier process overall, adoption is starting to pick up.With EMV becoming an easier process overall, adoption is starting to pick up.

What's being done?
The good news is that now, the world's largest payment processors are now moving to facilitate faster adoption, the report said. That comes largely in the form of companies like Visa and MasterCard moving to speed up the certification process so the backlog gets cleared out more quickly, and newly joining businesses can get through it in a shorter period of time than their forebears. Meanwhile, they are also moving to adopt new software that makes it easier to make an EMV transaction in less time.

"You can walk through any mall in America today and see the new chip card readers sitting by cash registers, whether they're being used to insert cards or the cards are still being swiped," J. Craig Shearman, vice president for government affairs and public relations for the National Retail Federation, told the magazine. "Those readers are evidence that retailers have done their part by installing the equipment. It's the card industry that's dropped the ball by not coming out and giving the approval that allows retailers to turn them on."

What else can be gleaned?
It is exactly the above problems that may have some companies still on the fence or even outright resistant to a change over to EMV, according to the Point of Sale News. Consequently, as these problems go away, it's also possible to expect greater enthusiasm among holdouts to move to adopt EMV, which they likely know is more secure than traditional credit card processing, and therefore a sound investment that will reduce the amount of card-present payment fraud they have to deal with.

The sooner merchants of any size can begin requiring their customers to use EMV when they have the right kinds of cards, the better off all involved in the payment process will be. Consumers will be less affected by fraud, and both retailers and the payment processing giants will have fewer chargebacks to deal with as time goes on.