Merchants still grappling with card fraud even with EMV underway

Category: Payment Processing Technologies

The EMV liability shift went into effect more than a year ago at this point, but many merchants have yet to take the steps necessary to get up to speed on accepting this type of transaction.

As a consequence, while many EMV adopters have reported fewer instances of card-present fraud, many experts point out that non-adopters are still seeing a larger number of instances of this type of crime. In this way, it seems that until everyone is on board with EMV, fraud is likely to continue shifting rather than diminish.

Thanks to a reticence to adopt EMV transactions and the difficulties seen in the certification process, fewer than half of all merchants nationwide are accepting this type of payment, according to a report from CSO Online. Consequently, thieves trying to carry out card-present fraud have simply moved from doing it just about anywhere to specifically targeting merchants that haven't yet started accepting these transactions.

EMV is here to stay, but some merchants still lag in adoption.EMV is here to stay, but some merchants still lag in adoption.

Where is it common?
This kind of fraud isn't just shifting to smaller real-world merchants, but also to online retailers, the report said. Consequently, industry experts urge merchants of all sizes to get onboard with next-generation payment acceptance as soon as possible to help all involved in the processing ecosystem, from consumers to retailers to payment giants themselves.

"The truth is, [the liability shift] didn't get rid of the fraud it just migrated it," said Dave Britton, vice president of fraud and identity industry solutions at Experian, in an interview with CSOO. "Since the liability shift, we have seen an increase in other areas of fraud including online and account opening fraud. The problem is that you put pressure on any system in some particular point, and that fraud is going to move elsewhere in the system. We've seen an uptick in channels outside EMV, in the e-commerce space itself."

Consumers still getting caught up
Meanwhile, some wonder whether widespread consumer and merchant adoption of EMV is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario, according to The Macon Telegraph. While millions of people have debit and credit cards embedded with EMV technology at this point, there still isn't a huge population of merchants accepting those payments. Until that happens, the overall security of the payments ecosystem will likely lag behind where it should be.

Moreover, it's also probable that some consumers remain reticent to use the new type of transactions because of early issues with these systems, such as longer payment processing times. As time goes on, though, it's likely that more parties on both sides will adopt.

With that in mind, though, merchants that haven't yet switched to EMV ought to get the ball rolling sooner than later. This is true not only because of continuing liability shifts, but because many consumers expect an EMV option when they check out.