It's been six months since the EMV fraud liability deadline has passed, and quite frankly, merchants and retailers are lagging when it comes to adoption. Our findings indicated that only around 17 percent of small and mid-sized organizations have fully integrated their POS systems to accept EMV chip-based payment cards. (To read more about EMV adoption six months later, check out our past blog post.)
Integrated EMV in the Channel
So what exactly is holding those merchants and retailers back from implementing and supporting the latest and greatest in payment technology? In a single word: compliance.
While many expected the risk of fraud liability and non-compliance fees would be enough encouragement for businesses to certify their POS systems to accept EMV chip-based cards, our survey found that companies are pretty much split on those regulations' ability to inspire quick adoption.
EMV certification = time and money
Everywhere you look, the argument is the same: EMV certification is resource-intensive and time-consuming.
"EMV certification can take as long as eight months in some cases."
Simply put, retailers and merchants must have EMVCo and acquirers certify their payment applications before customers can use their EMV chip-based payment cards for transactions. But according to the Intuit QuickBooks blog, that process can take as long as eight months in some cases. While a portion of that time includes waiting for certification teams, the rest of the investment goes into upgrading, customizing and testing POS environments. Writing for Lexology, Alfred Saikali of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP explained that many merchants and retailers are struggling on the software side of things - every aspect of a POS environment must be fully compliant with EMV regulations, and the more complex those environments are, the more assets that require certification.
As a result of the EMV certification troubles, many businesses have EMV card readers installed, but don't allow consumers to complete transactions that way, The New York Times reported. Payment terminals are just sitting at checkouts going unused.
If only there was an easier way for retailers and merchants to achieve EMV certification without the long wait or resource-intensive investment. Fortunately, there is.
With a little help from some friends
Businesses can form partnerships with third-party firms that help fully integrate POS environment components, ensuring that certification processes become much simpler. Those organizations can essentially can take payments off of retailers' and merchants' plates, as those external partners take on the development and other technical work required to bring POS systems into compliance with EMV standards.
In other words, retailers and merchants shouldn't tackle EMV certification alone. With help from integrated payment processing providers, they can cut the costs of their certification process, and make supporting EMV a much easier task - the provider handles all the work, after all.
Beyond that, if businesses don't have the hardware or software to support EMV, third parties can help them find the best terminals and tools to meet their organizations' needs, both today and tomorrow. Then, they can evolve their clients' ecosystems and stay on top of trends without additional internal development or other work, all while remaining compliant with EMV regulations.
It's time to become EMV-certified - before fraud gets out of control and customers start begging to use their new payment cards. It might seem challenging and expensive, but not if merchants and retailers find partners to help with integration and certification.