Security & Fraud

New Survey Says Only 37 Percent Of Merchants EMV-Ready

The EMV numbers are in on the merchant side, and they are rather anemic.

The Strawhecker Group, which is billed as a management consulting company that is focused on the global payments industry, said on Wednesday (Feb. 17) that, according to its research, only 37 percent of merchant locations in the United States are EMV-ready — even four months after the much publicized liability shift. That’s a far cry from previous research by the firm that showed that more than 40 percent would be ready by this time post the Oct. 1 deadline. What has delayed compliance? Payment processor readiness, the survey noted, along with concerns over gateways. In addition, there is the need for more technical resources in terms of staffing and other avenues helping to stymie EMV technology adoption, the report stated.

In a statement that accompanied the survey results — which spanned more than 90 payments providers, servicing more than 3 million merchants — Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at the firm, noted: “It appeared that some merchants delayed EMV migration completely until the holiday season ended to prevent friction and confusion at the checkout line. I suspect that many merchants that have delayed, especially merchants in higher-risk categories, felt the impact of the liability shift last year, and we’ll see them aggressively ramp up plans to migrate.” After, the onus is on them post-shift for fraud incurred in the absence of technology designed to combat that very fraud.

The outlook for EMV in the United States (among the last real holdouts, globally speaking) may get a little brighter as consumers will find EMV readiness at 50 percent of merchants by June 2016, according to the firm. A bit down the pike: 90 percent of merchant locations should be EMV-compliant by 2017.

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