ABA Op-Ed: EMV Adoption Has Made Consumers Safer

American consumers are safer today than they were one year ago thanks to the swift adoption of EMV technology, ABA SVP Jess Sharp wrote in an op-ed in The Hill today. Since last October, more than 700 million chip cards have been issued and payment networks report that in that time, counterfeit card fraud has been cut in half among merchants using chip card readers.

“As we see the benefits of EMV materialize, it is vital that retail industry leaders join the payments industry in communicating EMV’s success to their peers,” Sharp wrote. “[W]idespread retail use of EMV is the equivalent of the industry inoculating itself against certain fraud. The more merchants who commit to EMV, the safer everyone becomes.”

While EMV cards have proven successful at curbing point-of-sale fraud, however, Sharp said that the industry must continue to step up its efforts to combat online fraud, which has increased by 12 percent in the past year. To be effective in this area, banks, card issuers and merchants must look beyond static passwords and PINs and employ a wider range of countermeasures including tokenization, end-to-end encryption and biometrics, he added.

“Non-stop innovation in payments security is key to combatting online fraud and other evolving threats,” Sharp concluded. “But at the register, we must continue to advance the adoption of EMV technology, which is already succeeding in hobbling counterfeit fraud, reducing the inconvenience of continuous card replacements and making Main Street stores far less attractive targets for criminals.”