The EMV liability shift officially takes place tomorrow, and while there’s been much speculation about if the U.S. market is truly ready for the switch, the latest count shows more than 200 million chip-enabled payment cards have been issued in the U.S ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.
Oct. 1, of course, is the date where merchants and acquirers must shoulder the blame and financial costs of card fraud that could otherwise have been prevented with EMV.
According to the Smart Card Alliance, there are significantly more EMV chip cards available than there are actual locations prepared to accept them, Reuters reported yesterday (Sept. 29).
“Many people have multiple cards in their wallet,” Randy Vanderhoof, executive director at the Smart Card Alliance, told Reuters.
“So, even if people get one card in their wallet that’s their primary shopping card, then it doesn’t matter that there are still hundreds of thousands of other cards that have yet to be replaced,” he added.
[bctt tweet=”More than 200 million chip cards flood the US market ahead of tomorrow’s EMV liability shift.”]
EMV card issuance jumped by more than 27 percent in 2014 over the previous year, with key growth coming from the United States and China, according to the latest survey results from ABI Research.
There are roughly 1.2 billion total payment cards circulating in the U.S., with the Smart Card Alliance expecting 600 million chip cards to be issued by 2015.
In an effort to combat the rising threat of counterfeit and credit card fraud, merchants throughout the U.S. have invested approximately $8.65 billion to upgrade their payment terminals to accept EMV chip card payments, Reuters said.
Fraud at the point of sale is expected to drop with the introduction of chip-enabled cards, but analysts suspect online fraud will rise.
The technology that serves up protection against fraud, with chip-and-PIN in place, may not be enough to thwart data thieves who look for another avenue of lucrative criminal activity. The chip, after all, only works when the chip is present during a transaction.