Senator Sets Sights on Slow EMV Rollout

We’ve reported here not only on the coming of EMV standards to American debit and credit cards — those “extra” chips that create unique codes for each sale, and make financial information in “payer present” transactions — i.e., at stores like such previous hack targets as, well, Target, Home Depot, etc.

(As for online financial information, well that’s still a whole different ball of less-secure wax…!)

We’ve also talked about the slower-than-anticipated “rollout” of EMV adoption among merchants; either they have the new card readers, but they aren’t networked yet, or they haven’t even upgraded to EMV readers at all, yet (on which note, AVPS is here to ensure neither of those remain roadblocks for you — we can get you wired up and networked, all in budget-savvy ways, with help each step of the way….)

Now, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, long identified with payment industry legislation in Congress, has “sent a strongly worded letter to the chip card consortium (whose member companies are American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay and Visa),” according to Pymnts.com,  “with regards to its handling of the card rollout in the U.S…. he accused the organization of impeding retailers’ efforts to gain EMV certification and delaying the requirement of PIN authorization in order to financially benefit the card networks.”

The “PIN delay” he refers to, by the way, is also in the “payment news cycle” this past week, as Ars Technica reports that Wal-Mart, interestingly, is taking its own tack in what we might call “the war on slow EMV rollouts,” and finding itself on the same side as Durbin.

The mega-chain is suing VISA,  no less, in a “New York State Court, saying it wanted to be able to require PIN authorizations on all EMV debit card transactions. Although many debit card transactions already require a PIN to authorize purchases or withdrawals on that card, Visa makes its merchants give Visa card holders the option to authorize with a signature. Walmart is arguing that this puts its customers at risk for fraud.”

To their credit, Wal-Mart was one of the first national chains to switch over to EMV standards, but their motivation might not be entirely altruistic. After all, as the article notes, “Walmart said that the suit was about ‘protecting our customers’ bank accounts when they use their debit cards.”  But the Wall Street Journal observed there was still “a monetary side to Walmart’s legal salvo as well—for every signature-authorized transaction, Walmart must pay Visa five cents more than it does on a PIN-authorized transaction. According to the WSJ, about 10 percent of Visa debit-card-using customers at Walmart will ask to override the PIN authorization prompt at the checkout counter in favor of authorizing the transaction with a signature.”

So contact your rep — whether you have EMV rollout questions for gear you already have, or still need to get ready!

You may not be Wal-Mart sized, but that’s the point: Your customers still want to use their VISAs (and everything else) to buy from you. Keep their digits safe(r).  Besides, signatures, and paying for them, are much too “retro” at this point, and AVPS wants to help usher you into the actual future, if you’re not there already.

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