Is Now the Time for EMV Technology in the United States?

EMV technology is already used to fight fraud in other countries around the world.Oberthur Technologies, the world’s second largest provider of smart card based solutions to financial institutions and government agencies in the U.S., recently reported an increase in EMV demand from card issuers in the United States.

With financial regulation endangering payments companies’ profits and fraudsters always ready to strike, is now the time for U.S. payments companies to finally make significant investments in EMV and Chip & PIN? Members of the PYMNTS community sound off below.

(Related Article: “Changing the Game in Cards” by Deborah Baxley, Principal, Global financial services, Capgemini)


“Please stop beating the mag stripe horse! Her name is Maggy. She runs the race quite well and always wins lengths ahead of her competition. She may be old, but she is by far the favorite and will be for quite awhile. Betting against her has proven to be costly. So stop betting against her or go find another race. Maggy has years of running and winning in the future.

Chip and PIN would solve only one of our least significant fraud issues. There has been an overwhelming amount of attention put on by the C&P community that it is starting to get ridiculous.

So stop beating Maggy!!! (This also includes Greenback, the horse that will never be retired.)” – Phil Huston


“Despite some obivous potential benefits to switching to EMV/CandP, in Europe, ATM theft has risen substantially since the implementation of EMV/CandP even for bank ATM/debit cards. Several black hat campaigns/contests that have been done/are underway for the best protocol to beat CandP systems.

CandP can be overcome quite easily for one-time fraud for in-person transactions, and thieves are already employing that in other parts of the world. CandP does not address mobile payments and Internet payments, as these are usually CNP (Card Not Present) transactions that receive no protection from CandP.” – Michael J. Schultz


“Launching Chip & PIN in the United States may be a way for banks to invest in fraud prevention, but the merchant community, particularly the c-store/petroleum retailer would be looking at a significant investment. While some new POS terminals might have EMV capability built in, the same is not true for gasoline dispensers. Since most consumers (+/-70%) use card-based payment for gasoline purchases, this market is critical when considering the adoption of a new payment device. C-store/petroleum retailers can expect +/- $2,000 in additional costs for an EMV-enabled device. Retrofits to current equipment may cost up to $9K per pump. One major manufacturer tells me that neither of these products is currently offered in the U.S. market. Assuming the average petroleum retailer has five pumps (some larger stations have 10 to 20), the cost to retrofit to EMV in the U.S c-store/petroleum space is measured in $100’s of millions, if not billions of dollars.

One of the themes I hear from retailers, many of whom are still smarting from recent PCI compliance upgrades, is that future investment in payment technology should have a half-life longer than the life of a mosquito. Sorting out the long term long-term strategy for security and mobile technology and settling on technology standards would be a good first step in this process.” – Peter Guidi 

(Related Article: Gilbarco® FlexPay™ EMV CRIND® Accepts North America’s First Live EMV Transactions at the Pump)


“Adopt a real low-value payment solution to enable profitable transactions using smart cards for amount less than $10 or 10 EUR. Pushing contacless as a solution doesn’t cut it because merchants still recognize that they are being charges the same fees as for contact debit or credit. Contactless is just a form factor convenient for the cardholder, but merchants have no financial incentive to accept it.

That would change the game. There is at least 1 LVP solution on the market that could change the game, but payment schemes and banks are reluctant to take that route. Hopefully starting from 2011 they will have to.” – Anonymous


“The Merchant Advisory Group understand that the magnetic stripe is an aging technology, and PCI is simply a quick expensive fix. They see mobile and EMV as the future.” – Philip Andreae

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Is it time for EMV in the U.S.?

End to End Encryption, Tokenization & EMV in the U.S.

Chip and PIN in the US

World Payments Report 2010: Payments Volumes Resilient in the Crisis