In early January, we collaborated with 451 Research on a webinar about the current state of EMV. Although the liability shift on Oct. 1, 2015 was expected to be a watershed moment for the payment type, it didn’t lead to the widespread change that many hoped for or expected. Cayan Vice President of Product Management Marc Casterchini and 451 Senior Analyst of Mobile Payments Jordan McKee discussed how EMV reached this point and what its future looks like.
Read on for a look at four of the most important takeaways from our webinar, and then go watch the whole thing on YouTube

1. 60 percent of POS devices aren’t EMV compatible

Early in the discussion, McKee noted that one obstacle preventing widespread EMV usage was the gap in technology. Specifically, as of the end of November 2015, 60 percent of POS devices still needed to be upgraded to accept the payment type. While this is expected to drop to 40 percent by the end of 2016, the statistic is still troubling in both the long and short terms.
Businesses have specific reasons for not upgrading to EMV. Where one restaurant may have implemented a new POS in 2014 and doesn’t want to change again, a merchant may just think that EMV won’t provide any worthwhile benefits. McKee pointed out that the delay is probably caused by smaller businesses and owners who don’t understand why EMV matters because larger retailers and brands were often ahead of the game.
Regardless of the rationale, a functional understanding of EMV and how it’ll help would motivate lagging businesses to improve their POS technology.

2. Chip cards are coming

Of course, part of the delay in EMV usage is also on the consumers. However, it’s not that consumers aren’t using their cards, it’s that they don’t have them yet. Cards brands and banks are responsible for distributing chip cards to their customers, but the process is still ongoing; some banks haven’t even started shipping their cards yet.
The good news is that distribution increased at a rapid rate in 2015. According to McKee, Visa issued approximately 186 million chip cards in 2015, which represents a 500 percent year-over-year increase. If other card brands can match that pace, cardholders should have chip cards in their wallets sooner rather than later.

3. The U.S. is far, far behind

EMV has long been the standard in Europe (the “E” stands for “Europay”) and much of the world. What’s troubling is just how many leading nations use the payment type compared to the U.S.: EMV is the standard in every other country within the G20, making the U.S. the last member nation to adopt it.
As a result, the U.S. has become a hotbed of fraudulent card activity. The country accounts for roughly 20 percent of global card sales and 50 percent of fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters, hackers and other criminals realize they have a much easier path to stealing data and using it in the U.S. than the would elsewhere, so they’ve made it their favorite target.

4. EMV is a Trojan horse for NFC/mobile payments

One of the related benefits of EMV could be what motivates businesses and consumers to start going mobile. As highlighted during our webinar, many EMV transactions are conducted through contactless solutions, which help acclimate consumers to changing their behavior at checkout.
Additionally, 80 - 90 percent of POS devices that handle EMV can also complete mobile payments. This ensures that any business that upgrades can accept both payment types to help guarantee customer satisfaction, regardless of how they want to pay. On top of that, mobile/NFC may also become popular because it’s far easier and faster to do than dipping a card into a payment terminal. Consumers do value their time after all.
What did you learn from our webinar?

​​4 Important Takeaways From Our EMV Webinar

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