It’s a marathon, not a sprint—which is how the EMV transition might be described. While credit card issuers and payments companies indicate that a majority of credit cards now have the embedded chip, that does not capture the reality of limited EMV POS usage. As colleague, Alex Johnson, points out in the Bloomberg report, entering 2016 only about 20% of merchant POS terminals are operational and certified to accept EMV transactions.
No doubt there’s has been a lot of foot-dragging on the merchant side, and there are still some holdouts to EMV especially among small retailers. Meanwhile, the certification requirement creates gridlock which contributes to the slow progress. Merchants are not happy with the plodding transaction processing time and many consumers are still befuddled as to how EMV is supposed to work. But everyone will be happy if EMV reduces POS fraud which is the primary objective. The chargeback numbers will be the most important measure of success to watch this year.
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