U.S. EMV Myths Debunked: Myth #5

By : Andy Sirmon

April 21, 2018 05:04 PM

For this post in our EMV Myths Debunked series, we want to share some perspective regarding the pace of EMV adoption by both businesses and consumers.


The upcoming date for the EMV liability shift – October 1 – is less than six months away. With the amount of attention the liability shift is receiving, you might think that on October 2 every consumer will be using a chip credit card and that every business will be taking EMV payments. Don’t count on it. Instead, it looks like the transition to EMV is going to be a gradual one.


MYTH #5: EMV will rapidly achieve mass adoption in the U.S. by both consumers and businesses.


With so much attention given to EMV recently, you may be feeling some anxiety if your restaurant hasn’t yet made the transition to EMV acceptance. Rest assured, you’re not alone. Not only have retailers of all types and sizes been slow to implement EMV in their stores, many banks haven’t yet issued new credit cards with the required embedded chip technology for their customers.


In truth, the U.S. transition to EMV is going to be gradual and is expected to continue well after the October 1 liability shift date. The Payments Security Taskforce states in their U.S. Payments Security Evolution and Strategic Roadmap that it will take at least 3-5 years after October 1, 2015 to reach full maturity of EMV card acceptance. Javelin Strategy & Research estimates that only 29% of consumers’ credit cards will be replaced with new chip cards by the end of 2015, while a survey conducted by The Strawhecker Group found that just 34% of merchants in the United States will be EMV-ready by October 1. So know that it’s going to take a while for everyone to finally make the transition to EMV.


What does this mean for you and your business? While you might not see a mass proliferation of EMV cards immediately in your restaurant on October 1, know that you will be seeing more chip cards appear gradually over time. Be mindful of what the liability shift means to your business, but don’t feel rushed into implementing an EMV solution just to “check the EMV box” by a certain date; instead, take the time to determine the right solution for your business. Most importantly, use this opportunity to determine and implement a cohesive security strategy that not only protects your business against fraudulent card use, but also encrypts cardholder data and secures your entire payment network.


The takeaway: While October 1, 2015 is an important date for restaurants to note due to the liability shift for fraudulent card transactions in a non-EMV establishment, the reality is that the adoption of EMV by both consumers and merchants will not be completely transitioned by that time. In fact, petroleum retailers have until October 2017 to convert their pumps to become EMV capable at the pump.


EMV adoption will continue to grow at a moderate pace over the next few years. Take the time to thoughtfully consider not only a solution that addresses EMV concerns, but also protects the entirety of your payment network.


To learn more about the state of EMV readiness in the U.S., read this special report by Digital Transactions.


Debunked Myths:


  • Myth #1: Implementing EMV in your restaurant is required and will be enforced by a government regulation or security council
  • Myth #2: EMV is a requirement for complying with PCI Data Security Standards.
  • Myth #3: Once you implement EMV, you will no longer be able to accept credit cards with magnetic stripes.
  • Myth #4: EMV protects your restaurant from a data security breach.
  • MYTH #6: Transitioning to EMV is as simple as plugging in a new payment terminal.


Keep watching this space for our next EMV Myth:


Myth #6: Transitioning to EMV is as simple as plugging in a new payment terminal.


Andy Sirmon

NCR Hospitality

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Andy is a passionate marketer dedicated to helping make every day easier for restaurant operators. Here, Andy shares his insights on the restaurant industry and how disruptive innovation is transforming the way restaurants do business.