One Year Later: Where Does EMV Compliance Stand?

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Thursday, September 22, 2016

We are moving quickly towards the one-year anniversary of the October 1, 2015 EMV compliance deadline. Businesses, consumers, and processors have all been on a bit of a bumpy ride as the conversion to EMV chip technology makes its way across the country. At the end of the day, we all want the best customer experience and security in payment processing, so where does EMV stand right now?
Growth of EMV Usage
According to Visa, the United States added 100,000 new chip-enabled businesses in June, bringing the total to around 1.3 million businesses or 28% of the merchant population. Furthermore, one in four dollars spent in a store and paid with a Visa card was processed with a chip card in a chip terminal.1
Mastercard reports greater adoption of EMV chip cards and payments, too. As of August, Mastercard cites 80% of their users have chip cards and 1.7 million merchants are operating in the US with chip-enables points of sale. This represents nearly 30% of the merchant population in the United States.2
Initial adoption of EMV was challenged by equipment in service at the point of sale lagging behind the presence of EMV cards. Issuers were aggressively pushing out chip-enabled cards and it is taking time for merchants and payment processors to catch up. Luckily, as more merchants adopt EMV chip-enabled terminals, consumers seem willing to give the new process a try even as inconsistencies sometimes cause frustration.
EMV Transaction Speed
Slower transactions at the point of sale have been a major complaint as merchants make the switch to EMV compliance. Both Visa and MasterCard have issued software updates to help speed transactions along at the terminal by allowing customers to “dip” a chip card. Visa has prepared several resources for their Quick Chip software update which can be accessed HERE. More information about MasterCard’s update, M/Chip Fast can be found HERE
These EMV software updates are being made over the summer and should help merchants keep their customers moving through the line. For merchants upgrading to EMV compliant equipment, these upgrades will be integrated into their software.
EMV and Increased Security
As merchants and consumers ask why EMV compliance is necessary, the answer is always security. EMV chip technology is a huge step forward for credit card processing security. And while no technology is perfect, MasterCard is already reporting counterfeit fraud has dropped by over 60% among its top 5 EMV-enabled merchants.3
EMV chip and PIN transactions at the point of sale continue to be one of the most secure ways to process a card-present transaction, but the payment processing landscape is complex and always changing. Critics are concerned that more secure card-present transactions will only shift fraud to card-not-present transactions and the online marketplace. This was the oft-cited case in the UK, and security experts are already tracking weaknesses in EMV technology stateside.4
No matter how up-to-the-second our technology might be, fighting fraud will continue to require diligent attention from merchants, consumers, and payment processors.
The shift in liability last October did lead to an increase in chargebacks to non-EMV compliant merchants. These chargebacks continue, although some adjustments have been made in consideration of the long timeline for adoption and certification.
Visa is now promoting their “certification in hours” and has reduced merchant chargebacks by around 40%. As of October 2016, Visa has announced that fraudulent transaction chargebacks will be limited to 10 per merchant account with liability over those 10 instances of fraud shifting back to the issuer.5
Merchants will need to continue to observe best practices when processing payments, including keeping transaction records for at least 13 months, authorizing every transaction, verifying identity and taking care with unusually large transactions. Keeping an eye out for fraud is a necessary part of business, and now that merchants may bear the burden if they are not EMV compliant it is especially important.
Contactless Payments
Most equipment that is EMV compliant is also able to process contactless payments. As the use of mobile wallets like ApplePay, AndroidPay, and PayPal increases, EMV-capable points of sale should see an increase in contactless payments, too.
Contactless payments are fast and secure. Merchants should display the contactless payment symbol to show customers this is a payment option. As consumers look for a faster way to pay, contactless payments may very well be the answer.
Check out our article, Catch the Wave: Contactless Payments in the US, for more information about contactless payments.
Integrity is dedicated to providing customers with the latest payment processing technology, including the latest EMV updates and the ability to accept contactless payments. Contact us today to learn more about our payment processing solutions. 
1.     Visa U.S. Chip Update: June 2016, Steady Progress in Chip Adoption.
2.     Eighty Percent of Mastercard U.S. Consumer Credit Cards Have Chips. (2016, August 3).
3.     Mastercard Spills the Latest EMV Data. (2016, August 3).
4.     Bonderud, D. (2016, August 24) Chip-and-PIN Fraud: The New Face of Credit Crime?
5.     Visa’s Merchant Friendly EMV Moves (2016, June 17).