EMV Transition Progressing Nicely Says MasterCard

As the liability shift creeps closer (245 days as of the writing of this article) in the U.S., the migration to EMV is progressing well, according to MasterCard.

“The U.S. migration to EMV [EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa standard payment cards] overall is progressing very nicely,” said MasterCard SVP of Product Delivery Carolyn Balfany. “There are about 1.2 billion cards in the market with U.S. consumers today and we think by the end of 2014, across all brands, there were between 100 and 150 million cards already chip-enabled. More importantly, if we look toward the end of 2015, we believe that greater than half of all U.S.-issued cards and merchant terminals will be chip-enabled.”

MasterCard did not break out separate numbers for corporate cards, but Balfany did note that EMV or chip-and-PIN embedded corporate cards were moving at a proportional rate to consumer cards and that she expects to see over half of such cards also in market by the end of the year.

The new standard will shift the liability to merchants who haven’t upgraded their terminals and to issuers who have not provided chip-enabled cards. Travelers and consumers typically are not liable in cases of fraud—depending on the case.

Banks began issuing chip cards in North America to frequent international travelers in 2011, as EMV has been standard internationally for over a decade but it wasn’t until the Target breach in late 2013 that the move to EMV in the U.S. began to accelerate.

MasterCard’s Commercial Products SVP, Jay Singer, observed that business travelers were “in many ways were the first movers, as corporate travelers within a bank’s portfolio have a high tendency for international travel.”

MasterCard is not alone in advancing the change in cards for business travelers;  American Express has issued chip-and-PIN corporate cards for more than 10 years in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile in the U.S., chip and signature cards are available upon request for all consumer cards, small business and corporate cards.

“All of American Express’ U.S. corporate card products are available with EMV chip and signature for our clients who request them and also are being provided upon renewal, replacement or as part of a new account setup,” Banas told Business Travel News in an email. “In the U.S., there is still work that must be done and investments that must be made across many payment industry stakeholder groups, including issuers, acquirers and merchants, to ensure seamless chip-and-PIN usability at the point-of-sale.”


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