Half of US POS terminals to accept chip cards by end of 2015

Half of US POS terminals to accept chip cards by end of 2015

Nearly half of US merchant terminals will accept EMV chip card payments by the end of next year, according to a trade body set up to push the migration from magstripe plastic.

Visa and MasterCard set out a roadmap for the introduction of chip cards back in 2011, with liability for fraud-related loses switching to retailers that have not upgraded their hardware in October 2015.

Retailers initially reluctant to make the costly switch have begun to get onboard over the last year, jolted into action by the rash of huge POS malware-based data breaches to have hit over the last year. Just this week, Kmart emerged as the latest victim.

According to the Payments Security Task Force (PST), a cross-industry group set up by Visa and MasterCard, at least 47% of merchant terminals will be enabled for EMV chip technology by the end of next year.

The figure is based on forecasts by acquirers representing around 80% of purchase volume, including First Data, Citi, Wells Fargo and Global Payments.

Chris McWilton, president, North American markets, MasterCard, says: “Retailers, issuers, acquirers and others have addressed consumer concerns head-on and have begun to make the investments to further enhance the security of their payments."

In August a group of nine FS firm PST members predicted that half of their cards - 575 million between them - will be chip-enabled by the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, Visa is kicking off an effort to raise awareness of chip tech among merchants and cardholders. A recent survey from the firm found that 84% of SME merchants, but just 52% of consumers, are aware of the technology.

To help smooth the transition from magstripe, Visa is giving more than 10,000 financial institutions customisable marketing materials, offering POS signage to merchants, and setting up a microsite with educational videos.

Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 17 October, 2014, 16:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Re. "Half of US POS terminals to accept chip cards by end of 2015", do we know which half? Well, it may not matter: "EMV is seriously at risk in USA" according this interesting article by retail industry analyst firm RSR Research (http://www.rsrresearch.com/2014/10/14/emvs-broken-promises-in-the-us/). Why? It won't support Chip+PIN.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 20 October, 2014, 12:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Recent high profile security breaches around customer card data, as experienced at Sears Kmart and Home Depot stores, have raised the issue of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance higher up retailers' agenda.

Vulnerable and under continuous assault, card payment data remains one of the easiest types of data to convert to cash, making it the preferred choice of criminals. The need to safeguard sensitive details and also protect brand reputation has, understandably, left retailers with concerns.

In both of the above instances it is understood that the retailers were PCI DSS compliant, so what went wrong? In these cases it is likely that malware was used, exploiting Point of Sale (PoS) operating systems which were either not patched or not being scanned; in any case the hacker will have needed access to the PoS environment in order to propagate the malware which suggests that the network was also vulnerable.