This article may get technical at points, and if you have not read our piece on “How merchant processing works”, I would highly recommend it, or at least to use the glossary.
Implementation – How is it going?
I have one word for you, slow. U.S. implementation is moving extraordinarily slow for multiple reasons. These reasons include general misinformation, fear based marketing, general confusion, and slow movement from certain players in the industry.
Why is it going so slow? Well, many gateways, processors, and hardware providers are falling behind schedule. Some larger companies that have to manage tens of thousands of customers are falling behind, again, in the scramble to get things done. Then, many merchant processors, acquirers, and gateways have to implement EMV systems and get certified, which can take significantly longer than expected. Thankfully, there are nimble companies out there like POS on Cloud that will be ready far in advanced, which I am saying of course completely unbiased. Just make sure you work with the right partner, because if your smaller provider isn’t ready, they will not be able to continue to do business, and you’ll be left scrambling to try and pick up the pieces.
What do the merchants think?
Generally, merchants have been very receptive so far. Many merchants understand the benefits that can come with EMV. These include more secure transactions, among other benefits that could possibly lower the cost of merchant processing. Pay-at-the-table is very exciting as well, since customers will no longer relinquish their credit card upon payment.
What are the biggest issues?
Right now, the biggest issues are unaware or unprepared point of sale providers, unprepared hardware vendors, and merchants who forego compliance to save a little money in the short run. These three players create a dangerous combination that could cause many businesses to fail.
Extra comments and advice
There is one thing that I always like to tell people, that many people don’t realize. Lots of wish-wash point of sale vendors and dealers will promise you gimmicks, and they always will. “Free EMV Reader!” “Free Apple Pay Reader!” “$100 Amex giftcard!” even “Free point of sale!” Gimmicks like this, are never free. In fact, the more expensive the gimmick item seems, the lower quality it is, or the more you’re being overcharged for another service.
The one other fact that hardly anyone realizes, is that EMV makes little-to-no difference without end-to-end encryption. Malware and Viruses can still infect your system and read the data, unless your point of sale system uses end-to-end encryption.
For advice, as I said earlier, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Merchants need to find one provider that is actually going to take care of them, that they can trust, and that cares about their business just as much as they do. If you own a business and can’t trust your merchant processor or POS provider, then it’s time for a switch. You need a provider that you matter more to than just another number in a portfolio of other merchants.
I hope you liked this blog post, and stay tuned for next “State of the EMV”. If you like what you read, feel free to contact one of our agents, or you can always contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you, and our agents are standing by.