The EMV liability shift took place several months ago. Although many U.S. merchants are EMV-compliant, a recent survey conducted by The Strawhecker Group (TSG) shows that the majority of business owners still have not yet adopted the new technology.
TSG, a management consulting firm that advises payment companies, including merchant acquirers and financial institutions, announced the survey results in a press release last month, revealing that only 37 percent of U.S. merchants are EMV-compliant.
TSG’s Business Intelligence Manager Jared Drieling says the holidays may have hindered the movement towards EMV migration, suggesting that some business owners didn’t want to risk any “‘friction and confusion at the checkout line.’” The EMV liability shift was a surprise to both merchants and consumers—the press release pointed out that 40 percent of survey participants said it “confused the merchants more than it helped”—business owners didn’t appreciate having frustrated employees working the register or stressed out customers during the already busy shopping season.
But this technology shift means that all those merchants risked becoming responsible for any card-present fraudulent transactions that took place during the holidays.
Despite the hassles, Drieling expects that those business owners will most likely adopt EMV technology soon. “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,” he said.
Based on its survey results, TSG also predicts that 50 percent of merchant locations in the U.S. will be EMV-compliant by June of this year, with that number steadily increasing until it reaches 90 percent by next year.
By June, we’ll know if TSG’s predictions are accurate or if U.S. merchants will adopt EMV at a different rate. The sooner they take that step, the sooner they’ll protect themselves from liability and their customers from card fraud. As long as business owners team up with the right merchant services company to help them switch to EMV, adopting the new technology will be effortless.