In one of the latest volleys over EMV compliance — just as the deadline is really, finally, almost here — the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is challenging claims that retailers are not up to snuff in the transition.
Chain Store Age reported Monday (Sept. 21) that RILA’s efforts have come in the wake of an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune in which Randy Vanderhook, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance, stated that retailers have lagged in activating terminals, despite the fact that millions of consumers have EMV-compliant cards at the ready.
In a statement, Brian Dodge, executive vice president of RILA, said that “retailers are making a multi-billion dollar investment to protect customers and reduce credit card fraud. Unfortunately, the claims being presented by the financial services industry represent an attempt to mislead reporters and consumers, rather than provide the facts surrounding the upcoming Oct. 1 liability shift.” In tandem with that statement, Dodge’s organization pointed to stats posted by Visa over the summer that said that roughly 18 percent of the 720 million Visa debit and credit cards issued have an embedded chip and are also in place to be used once the EMV liability shift kicks in next month. Conversely, the trade group said, the Congressional Research Service said that retailers have spent more than $8 billion to transition POS terminals to accept the chip cards, and large retailers will have the newly configured terminals ready to go live this fall.
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Fraud against retailers has been on the rise, and earlier this month the LexisNexis “True Cost of Fraud 2015” report posited that the surge in criminal activity may be tied to the shift toward EMV adoption. Yet, the pace of adoption has been glacial, as recent surveys have shown that as much as 78 percent of SMBs may not be ready to meet the deadline by Oct. 1. In fact, earlier this year, one retail trade group, the Food Marketing Institute, asked major chip card issuers, such as Visa and MasterCard, to at least delay the liability shift.
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