STORES – The din from the drum of the EMV mandate is not what it was three years ago. But the reverberations over compelling retailers to adopt costly new point-of-sale technology in order to accept new chip-based credit and debit cards — and the debate over whether doing so has reduced fraud — continue to ripple through the industry.
“The road to adoption of EMV in traditional POS has been painful,” Boston Retail Partners Senior Vice President Perry Kramer says, noting “many of the regulations were still being finalized as merchants were developing processes” to implement the technology. Retailers faced challenges such as customers learning to “dip” rather than swipe. And consumers complained that EMV transaction took longer than mag-stripe, although that issue was largely resolved through the card industry’s rollout of “quick chip” EMV technology in 2016, he says.
“What you see today is that the majority of the Tier 1 retailers have it in, and it is working very well,” Kramer says. But “there’s a broad user experience still out there with EMV, some of it being very good and some of it not being so good.” Many smaller retailers continue to struggle through the transition, Kramer adds. “This is due to a number of reasons including the cost of upgrading the software and hardware,” he says. “Change management and resource efforts required to make the changes continue to compete with other business priorities in a segment that has a very small resource pool.”
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