Payment card fraud is a big issue in the U.S. How big? The U.S. accounted for 51% of global payment card fraud costs in 2013, according to BI Intelligence. Further, the cost of U.S. payment card fraud grew by 29% to $7.1 billion. The hope is that EMV adoption will help turn these numbers around.
What Are the Benefits of Merchants Adopting EMV?
The primary benefit of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) technology is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost, and stolen cards.
Other positives include:
- It can reduce skimming scams—for example, a server copying a customer’s card at a restaurant
- Your brand may benefit by being associated with robust security
- The added functionality that comes with most EMV-capable devices, such as mobile and contactless payments, may enhance your customer check out experience.
Adoption in the U.S.
The U.S. migration to EMV is underway, but there are varying opinions on how quickly it will take place. Most agree the roll out of EMV in the U.S. will be slow. Large retailers will be the first to adopt, but it may take years for EMV to be prevalent in the U.S. Here are some key findings to provide perspective:
- By the end of 2014, an estimated 120 million chip cards had been issued. This figure is expected to jump to 600 million by the end of 2015.
- About 59% of all point of sale devices will be chip-capable by the end of the year, according to a report from the Aite Group. 
- 38% of U.S. small merchants still do not have plans to upgrade their point-of-sale systems
- For small to medium sized stores, it may take until 2017 to see EMV capability.
One factor contributing to slow adoption is cost. Recently, Javelin Strategy & Research estimated that the combined costs for issuers and merchants that migrate to EMV-compliant cards and terminals will exceed $6.8 billion.
While the costs associated with implementing EMV in terms of device purchase, development time, and training are significant, merchants will have to determine when it makes the most sense to make the move.
How Soon Do I Need EMV?
When considering the ROI for EMV it is important to understand what the Liability Shift, which takes place October 1, 2015, really means to your organization.
EMV’s main purpose is to provide mechanisms to authenticate and validate cards, preventing thieves from duplicating or counterfeiting cards. EMV is not the silver bullet for all fraud and does not add protection from hackers. An EMV card does not safeguard the PAN information contained on it; that will still be up to TrustCommerce’s secure encryption and tokenization platform in combination with the encrypted EMV devices utilized in the merchant’s environment. On-line, call center, and other card-not-present transactions will continue to process as they do today.
A cost/benefit analysis of EMV should include the fraud that currently occurs in your card present environment. Consider the chargeback losses that can be attributed to card fraud and estimate what those levels of card fraud will be after the liability shift begins. If card present fraud is minimal today, then it may not be worth going through the expense of an EMV upgrade immediately.
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 38 percent of U.S. small merchants still don’t have plans to upgrade their point-of-sale systems