As many as three-quarters of all merchants may not have implemented EMV chip card technology before the Oct. 1 liability shift, according to a report last week from Javelin Strategy and Research. Starting in October, the party — merchant or issuer — that does not support EMV assumes liability for counterfeit card transactions.
“This will skew very, very heavily to the largest retailers. The smaller merchants are clearly not ready, not by a longshot,” said Javelin payments expert Nick Holland. “The majority of small merchants are not only not ready for EMV, they are not even aware of EMV.” Since larger companies have more points of sale, a larger share — more than half — of retail locations are expected to be EMV-compliant by the end of 2015.
The Javelin report also found that many consumers were unfamiliar with chip technology and unaware of whether they had EMV cards. Nineteen percent of those surveyed said they knew they had received a chip card. Previous Javelin research has projected that 70 percent of U.S. credit cards and 40 percent of debit cards will have chip capability by the end of 2015.