More than a decade ago, EMV chip cards made their way onto the payment circuit. Despite their promises of enhanced security and protection, however, they didn’t garner much attention.
Until 2013, that is.
2013 was a year that saw a rash of security breaches amidst high-profile stores, such as Target. With consumers facing greater technological risks than ever before, the retail market and payment networks began to reevaluate the benefits of chip card acceptance.
As of October 1, 2015, a new law mandated that all retailers accept chip cards, or else face potential liability for fraud.
Rather quickly, we saw banks reissuing new chip cards to customers, and stores and restaurants across the United States installing vamped up POS systems that are capable of accepting the EMV cards.
So now that we’ve hit the one year anniversary…what do people really think?
The Difference a Year Can Make
In a recent report, prepared by Visa, we received some pretty incredible information. Here’s just a few of the present day statistics concerning chip card usage.
- There are currently more than 363 million Visa chip cards in use.
- Almost 1.5 million retailers and merchants now accept chip cards.
- Payment counterfeit fraud is down 47%.
While these stats seem quite impressive, it should be noted that we are still far from having an entirely chip-based payment protocol. The same Visa report cites that the 1.5 million vendors previously mentioned only represents about 37% of their business accounts.
Businesses that have made the necessary changes to their existing POS software have also encountered endless issues along the way.
- In-store distribution challenges
- Difficulty obtaining necessary hardware and software
- Issues over programming delays
Do Customers Approve?
Moving beyond the problems that have arisen from the retailer’s standpoint, consumers themselves aren’t entirely happy with the new, standard payment processes.
While it may seem insignificant, the time it takes for customers to run their cards has become an annoyance. Men and women are used to a quick slide of their card that takes about two seconds. With chip-card technology, they are now required to leave their cards in the reader for ten seconds or more.
This slowdown is enough to cause a sense of aggravation amongst consumers and has card companies considering a new Quick Chip technology.
While this new technology could remedy the amount of time it takes at the checkout counter, merchants seem to be understandably gun-shy about undergoing another software transition.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We’ve come so far in just over a year, but the future of chip-card technology seems a little uncertain. While the US is consistently moving forward with the transition to exclusive EMV card acceptance, there’s still a large number of bugs that need to be worked out.
The question becomes…what will things look like at the end of year two?