February 13, 2015
Editors Note: In the US for over 50 years there really have been no Chip Cards. Thus, we think, this posting may seem much more over the top to someone outside the U.S. where EMV is commonplace (Europe) and had years of adoption
Change Is Upon Us: The Swipe Gives Way To The Dip, The Hover Or The Wave
On October 1st, 2015 a quite unnoticeable line will have been crossed for payment acceptance in the US, a mandate from Visa, MasterCard American Express and Discover will begin to take effect at every retail merchant that accepts payment cards. This mandate shifts liability for many payment transactions fully to the merchant if they do not have a payment card terminal that accepts EMV cards and/or NFC based transactions. This sounds like a deal for merchants but what about consumers. Read on, it is the consumer that will face the largest elements of the EMV shift. It will get very bad before it get better.
In 1995 The US Did Not Hop Aboard the EMV Train
In 1995, Euro Pay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) formed a committee for the purpose of establishing a standard that allowed for payment cards to have a secure, encrypted, embedded 'chip.' These competing companies were starting on diverging paths prior to forming this group and thus would have required merchants to use 3 different payment card terminals to accept all 3 payment products. Although it was at one time common for merchants in Europe to not accept all 3 payment products, it was actually becoming more popular to offer as many payment options as possible. There were quite a few other reasons for the standardization, but a common and interoperable design was the basis of the group.
In the epoch when EMV was formed a typical medium distance phone call in parts of Europe could cost the equivalent of over $3.00 for the first minute. The payment card terminals used the telephone network for authorizations. With a base of ~$3.00 per transaction added to the cost of actual service, there had to be something done to allow smaller trans ...