EMV a high priority but banks continue to coast

EMV a high priority but banks continue to coast

While more than 80% of banks view migration to the Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) standard for smart cards as an ongoing or high priority, budgetary and technical worries remain a key concern, according to a survey conducted by Finextra Research on behalf of Level Four.

For the report, 'The smart card revolution - is the market ready for EMV', Finextra canvassed selected individuals responsible for ATM networks and point-of-sale terminals at 38 European and Middle East banks.

While 85% of respondents have an EMV project in place, Finextra found the majority of institutions remain at the planning stage, with budgetary restrictions a key concern. Other high-level hurdles identified include lack of information and technical knowledge.

In terms of size of EMV budgets, there was no clear pattern. Planned investment ranges from under $1m at the low end to over $10m for larger projects.

"With only two years to go to mandatory EMV compliance in Europe, it is critical that banks begin to prepare now," says Martin Macmillan, CEO Level Four Software, a UK firm that provides simulation software for EMV migration testing across bank ATM networks. "In many cases, banks have yet to adequately grasp the full scale of the task in hand."

The implementation of EMV with associated smart card issuance will mean a major overhaul of systems within financial institutions, points out Nigel Walsh, Level Four executive chairman. New hardware and software will have to be integrated with existing systems so that all the processes converge together.

Regional differences abound, with the level of involvement of the relevant central bank, regulatory body or industry association seen to be a key influence in bank preparedness.

The business case for migration also differs from country to country, with mutli-application potential driving adoption in regions where there is a lower incidence of card fraud.

Read the abstract and download the full report.

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