Payment technology

EMV migration gains footing in U.S.

EMV Credit CardMore than 575 million payment cards in the U.S. will feature EMV chip technology by the end of 2015, according to the Payments Security Task Force (PST), a trade body established to track the EMV migration.

“These numbers reflect the significant momentum behind the adoption of EMV chip in the United States,” Ryan McInerney, the president of Visa, a task force participant, said. “By the end of next year, these issuers estimate that one in two of their U.S. payment cards will be chip-enabled, which represents real progress given the scale and complexity of this overall effort.”

Visa and MasterCard established a plan for the introduction and migration to EMV in 2011. Liability for losses related to fraud will shift to retailers who have not upgraded their point-of-sale systems by October 2015.

Initially, however, many financial institutions had questions regarding the adoption of the new EMV system and issues related to regulation. A number of data breaches—most notably the Target breach that affected millions of customers—have since influenced public opinion.

A June study conducted by PULSE found that 86 percent of financial institutions plan to begin issuing EMV cards within the next two years—up from 50 percent in 2012.

Participants in the task force, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, Independent Community Bankers of America, VeriFone, Visa, MasterCard, Navy Federal Credit Union, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, set up the task force in March to encourage discussion of the migration.

To promote the adoption of EMV, the task force is currently working to identify best practices related to merchant testing and certification to reduce implementation time.

“The pace of EMV adoption is rapidly accelerating with many institutions already issuing EMV chip cards, and even more coming onboard every month,” Guy Chiarello, the president of First Data, another task force member, said. “First Data is strongly encouraging all institutions to launch their EMV plans immediately, and not wait for the October 2015 liability shift. Issuing EMV now will benefit consumers by making the most secure payment card available sooner, while reducing fraud losses and enhancing payments system security for all.”

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