Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chip Cards (Tradecraft)

I wrote a couple weeks ago about the liability shift with EMV chip credit cards going into effect October 1st. Here's what I've noticed since then:

  • Extended Protection: Some processors, including Intuit with their Quickbooks POS, won't be ready in time, so they're covering vendor fraud for an additional six months.
  • Large Retailers: Target, Walgreens, (and I've heard) Wal-Mart have implemented EMV card readers. Once a terminal is implemented, cards with chips must use the EMV reader (no more magnetic strip sliding).
  • Small Retailers: My local sandwich shop uses an EMV reader. Some small retailers have the reader, and some work and some don't. 
  • Software: Like with our own implementation, we're still waiting on software for our terminal with EMV integration. The deadline is tomorrow and I don't expect it to work in time.
  • Hardware: Square has a new EMV reader we intended as a backup. Square hasn't shipped yet. 
  • Lack of EMV Cards: Of my eight credit cards, two have chips. Although there's an October 1st deadline for the liability shift, it only applies to EMV cards not run as EMV, so there's not much incentive to immediately replace magnetic strip credit cards with EMV chip cards. Then again, there's not much of a liability shift issue if 60% of consumers still don't have EMV chip cards.
  • Really Damn Slow: EMV processing is painfully slow, which seems to be true everywhere.  It took a couple minutes at my recent Walgreens and about the same time at my neighborhood sandwich shop. I've heard retailers discussing the serious impact this could have during the busy holiday period. The speed and capability of a POS is often cited as equivalent to having an extra employee. Some retailers have talked about adding additional POS systems to cover the speed issue, which is a serious cost impact. Let's hope it speeds up over time. 

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