Given The Choice Between EMV And Mobile, SMBs Are Choosing Mobile

Orange Leaf is a small FroYo chain with a series of exotic flavors to offer. Like most of America’s 6 million small businesses, the company is facing an EMV upgrade by 2015 if it wants to avoid liability for counterfeit fraud. That upgrade means a heavy investment in new technology.

For Orange Leaf, mobile could be a cheaper option.

“Using a mobile wallet is a better choice right now,” Michael Christy, Orange Leaf’s director of information technology told Bloomberg. “We can control that, and the technical requirements are minimal. We want to make sure we save our franchisees money.”

Orange Leaf’s mPay system will be introduced to the chain for about one quarter of the cost of integrating EMV. Some have argued that mPay is a less secure alternative than EMV, particularly if credit card information is stored on hacker-desirable places like smart phones. On the other hand, companies like FIS and Paydiant exist to store encrypted data and to protect customer information.

Mobile wallets, apart from being a cheaper and far less technologically involved solution than EMV, also has the ancillary benefit of helping SMBs build loyalty and rewards-based relationships with their customers, and to gather data about their buyers’ behaviors and preferences.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Doug Brown, general manager of mobile at payment-technology provider FIS, reports Bloomberg. “Longer-term, it’d be better if we could just skip a generation and just go to mobile payments.”

Brown is not the first person to note that EMV is missing the point on the next payments opportunity. MPD CEO Karen Webster has also noted that given the costs and who bears them, maybe it is time for everyone to call an “EMV Timeout” and think about mPay instead.

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