If it felt like the October 1 EMV deadline came and went without any real sense of finality, chances are the terminology was a little misplaced.

A study from the Ingenico Group, a global leader in payment solutions, found that 44 percent of consumers hadn’t even dipped the new chip-enabled cards to fund a purchase, and that as of late October, only 60 percent had received the updated plastic, which promises to put the art of swiping to rest.

But, understandably, the so-called deadline was never intended to be a clean switch. The date signaled the moment banks and merchants would be held responsible for fraudulent activity if they were not able to accept the EMV—Europay, MasterCard, and Visa—cards. The calendar notch was more of an incentive point than a cutoff.

In many countries, like Canada and Germany, EMV cards have been in play for quite some time, making the current pace of progression completely understandable, the survey notes. The best remedy, it says, is education. “The biggest takeaway from our survey is that consumers need to be educated on how to use their new EMV cards,”says Greg Burch, vice president of strategic initiatives for North America at the Ingenico Group. “Full-service restaurants that want to take advantage of the improved security aspects of EMV need to do several things: ensure that they've enabled EMV capabilities at the point of sale, train employees on how to process EMV payments and how to coach customers through the process, and post instructions for customers at the point of sale. We believe all those things need to happen in order to speed adoption of EMV.”

EMV technology helps prevent fraud by creating a one-time code for each transaction when the card is inserted that can’t be used again. The data is stored on an integrated circuit through a chip instead of a magnetic strip. Magnetic strips contain unchanging data that can be learned and used to make fraudulent purchases.

The Ingenico Group surveyed more than 1,000 customers. Among the findings: 33 percent of cardholders who tried using an EMV card were not aware of how to use them, and had to ask for help; 27 percent who received educational material along with their EMV cards felt that it was helpful.

The group believes it will take up to two years for EMV to fully penetrate the market, and provides resources such as webinars, e-books, and other materials they hope will help along the process.

“Based on our experience supporting other countries through their EMV migration, we believe the U.S. is progressing comparably at this stage,” Rod Hometh, senior vice president strategic development of North America at Ingenico Group adds in the release. “Even with all the education that exists in the market, there is still work to be done over the next 12 months.  We will continue to track the progress of EMV adoption to better understand what forms of education are the most effective. We also plan to continue working closely with our merchants to ensure they are able to accept the latest NFC/contactless payment options, as this has proven to help reduce the friction of EMV migration in many other countries around the world.”

Danny Klein

Finance, Industry News, Technology