To be sure, it’s a dramatic headline. And it’s on a subject about which you — as a regular AVPS reader — are already well informed: The one-month-away switch over from the “mag stripe” standard for American credit cards to the “chip-and-pin” EMV variety.
But with Time (and once we would have said “Time Magazine,” but Time exists as much as a newsgathering website now, at Time.com, as it does as a print source — precisely the sorts of changes we’re talking about) now officially bannering the changes, we wanted you to know how the story is being told to many of your customers, who are still trying to keep up with the transition, or still awaiting their EMV-chipped replacement cards in the mail.
Time gives unsuspecting consumers a little bit of a warning about those arriving cards, telling them that “sadly, it has nothing to do with a more favorable interest rate or an exciting new reward program. Instead, it’s a security upgrade infusing our old-fangled cards with some modern technology at last.”
And then they give a little history about that “at last:”
“For Americans, the change to chip-and-PIN is long overdue. As of last year, 83% of western European consumers had chip cards, compared to just 7% of stateside shoppers. France, the first country to adopt the new cards, did so back in the 1980s. But this is the year that the U.S. starts going all-in. According to information provided by VISA, industry analysts estimate 70% of the country’s credit cards and 41% of its debit cards will be upgraded to chip technology by the end of this year.”
Increasingly, you can expect EMVs to be in the news, and for your customers — especially the walk-in ones, in brick-and-mortar stores and businesses — to have questions about these new cards, and how to use them.
The same week that the Time story appeared, its sibling publication, Fortune, ran a more sober-minded piece on the same subject, aimed at businesses, with the header “U.S. Stores are About to Pay Up for Security.”
As Fortune reminds its readers about another key aspect of the change-over: “Starting this fall, it will be individual stores (or jewelry dealers) and their insurers that will have to pay the bills for counterfeit credit card fraud.”
As they further synopsize: “The new rule, or ‘liability shift,’ will take effect on Oct. 1. It’s meant to encourage retailers and banks to adopt securer payment technology: EMV chip–enabled credit cards and card readers, which render criminally crafted cards—ones that use stolen magnetic strip data—ineffective. If banks issue the securer cards, then they’re no longer responsible for counterfeit fraud. If retailers install the new card-reading systems, then the liability shifts back to the banks.”
On the other hand, Fortune warns, plugging one hole in a leaking dam could lead to others: “The counterfeit fraud prevented by chips in stores is all but guaranteed to shift online.” They quote one industry analyst who estimates that “card-not-present” fraud “will explode from $10 billion last year to $19 billion in 2018, when the equipment upgrade should effectively be completed. That’s a 90% surge.”
Many retailers, Fortune says, “are very, very unhappy” about the situation, but of course, by being one of AVPS’ retailers, you’re not with the “many!” Contact your AVPS Rep today with any questions about the EMV switch, especially if you still need a new POS device.
See you in September!