Since news of the Target point of sale breach broke late last year, the need for improved payment security has been front and center with industry professionals. One of the biggest topics of conversation has been speeding up the adoption of EMV chip-and-PIN technology before the October 2015 deadline.
A recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek examined this area more closely and found that many companies are still slow to incorporate this technology. The piece features comments from Merchant Warehouse, a credit and debit card transaction processor which handles this for 80,000 U.S. merchants. It is reporting that 40 percent of its partners will not be ready for the deadline. Crone Consulting, a payments advisory firm, is reporting that more than half of all U.S. merchants will miss the cutoff date.
Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey told the news source that the company has been working for over two years to incorporate the payment technology and believes that it will be ready for the deadline in 2015.
"We believe chip-and-PIN is a good solution because it creates several additional layers of security without sacrificing customer convenience," Dailey said. "That's not to say this conversion can be accomplished with a simple flip of the switch. This will be a major effort to overhaul the entire payment processing infrastructure, which includes banks, credit card issuers and payment processors in addition to retailers."
While it seems like companies need to get on top of an EMV adoption now, the situation is not that dire. Chip enabled cards still have magnetic strips, so traditional POS systems will still work. The proper steps for a full scale adoption are still widely unknown, so it may be a wise decision for smaller companies to sit back for now and let the big box retailers pave the way.