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Why Some Merchants Can't Accept EMV Chip Cards

Why Some Merchants Can’t Accept EMV Chip Cards

Currently, only about a third of U.S. merchants are actively accepting EMV payments.

One reason for this is the long EMV certification process. Many merchants have purchased EMV-capable terminals, but are not yet able to process chip payments with them. “There’s a big disconnect between merchants that have terminals and those who have it ready to go,” said Jared Drieling, Strawhecker business intelligence manager. “There’s a large base of merchants out there essentially waiting in a queue.”

Uniting all the disparate components that are involved in a point-of-sale (POS) system into one solution that meets EMV specifications makes the certification process difficult – from a myriad of POS software configurations to various payment processing and hardware components, each POS must be certified according to its unique configuration. And with several thousand merchants going through the same process, a backlog has quickly formed. “Prior to EMV, a terminal certification might have taken three to four weeks,” notes Don Hartley, vice president of solutions technology at Anywhere Commerce. “With EMV certification, we’re looking at a minimum of three to four months, most are six months.”

And because the deadline to make the transition to EMV was last October, many merchants are experiencing an influx of chargebacks while they wait in the certification queue. In fact, 60% of merchants have experienced increased chargebacks since the liability shift.

Another hold up in the process can come from merchants themselves. Drieling speculates that fast food and quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) may wait longer than other merchants to start the EMV certification process because they fear EMV will slow down checkout times. These merchants also see fewer instances of fraudulent card activity. “Those two factors for QSRs have them as EMV laggards,” Drieling says.

However, major card brands like Visa and Mastercard have released quick chip EMV programs in an attempt to speed up transactions and hopefully help convince merchants to begin the lengthy certification process. By replicating the approach that many customers are already familiar with, Visa aims to make EMV checkout much faster. “With Quick Chip, consumers insert their chip card into the terminal, which automatically generates the EMV cryptogram (that secure one-time code) – the card can then be removed from the terminal while the rest of the transaction continues.”

If you are a merchant without an EMV solution, a semi-integrated solution like MiPoint can help. MiPoint integrates seamlessly with legacy POS systems like MICROS, POSitouch, and InfoGenesis – so you can save money on costly system upgrades. And, MiPoint comes EMV-ready right out of the box, so you’re able to skip the long certification line.

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