Ignoring EMV? Consumers aren’t.

By now, I’m sure you are very familiar with the massive credit and debit card hacking fiasco that happened to Target over the holiday. Hopefully, you weren’t one of the reportedly 40 million customers who were affected by the massive breach. I have a very close friend who is a CEO of a local credit union and she expressed what a mess it caused for some of her customers. When news of the hacking of Target broke, I immediately thought, “I wonder if this could’ve been prevented if we already had EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) cards in the U.S.”


Consumers learn about EMV

Not too long after, I started noticing interesting articles on Yahoo! and sites like Gizmodo.com. Articles that started talking about “smart” credit cards and that consumers could expect them here soon. As I read the stories, sure enough, they are talking about EMV and the benefits it gives to consumers. Now granted, if you have anything to do with the financial industry or handle any type of cashless transaction, you’ve heard the term EMV long before the massive breach at Target. But to consumers in the U.S., this is a relatively new term. Then I started noticing in my social news feeds in Facebook and Twitter, my friends are sharing stories about these “smart” credit cards. So now the general public is getting informed about the benefits that EMV will bring to them, that the U.S. is the last country in the world to finally have EMV and that the technology has actually been around since 1992. They are learning that moving to EMV means that their cards and their information will be safer and that this new standard is set to roll out in October 2015. More importantly, they are learning that if they swipe their new card that has the chip, at a merchant who is still using the old system, that the merchant will be liable for any fraudulent transaction.


Consumers love new technology

This should come as no surprise by now. Consumers are interested in new technology that comes out. Look at any Apple store the day before the newest iPhone is going to be available for sale! My point is though, imagine if you were one of the 40 million who were affected by the security breach at Target. You’ve just seen a news story on TV or on a news Website or even from your social newsfeed. You’d probably be pretty excited that EMV cards are coming wouldn’t you? I know some might quickly answer, “well then carry cash because you can trust cash”, but let’s be honest, our society just doesn’t carry cash anymore as you can pay by a variety of different devices.

So what does this mean for you? It’s a theme that we at Automatic Merchandiser have pushed before on many other topics. Don’t be reactive when it comes to EMV compliance. Be pro-active with your accounts and your consumers. Assure them that your machines or kiosks are EMV compliant and explain to them what that means. Again, this is about customer service. Don’t worry, if you’re not an expert in EMV compliance quite yet, Automatic Merchandiser will be partnering with manufacturers and providers on content to get you there.