October 2015 marks a major milestone in the US payment industry’s migration to EMV as the liability shift comes into effect. After the liability shift, the party on a card transaction—the issuer, acquirer, or merchant—who does not support EMV assumes the liability for counterfeit card transactions and, in some cases, for lost and stolen card transactions.
According to a survey of 160 small and medium-sized businesses conducted by Software Advice in October 2014, 44% of merchants did not feel confident that they were on track to be ready for the liability shift, and 25% were virtually unaware of the deadline. A mere 11% of the merchants surveyed were EMV-ready – write Janinne Dall’Orto and Sepehr Shirzadian, First Annapolis Consulting.
Believe it or not, this is an improvement in EMV awareness levels compared to a survey conducted by First Annapolis in March 2014. As part of our study, First Annapolis surveyed 200 merchants across 32 industries, with $50,000 to $10 billion in sales volume. Our study showed that the vast majority of merchants were unaware of EMV and unprepared for the 2015 migration and liability shift. In that study, only 24% of the merchants indicated that they were aware of the upcoming requirements for U.S. merchants to be able to accept chip cards; 28% indicated they had heard of the requirements but did not know the details, and nearly half indicated no awareness of EMV.
Despite these improvements, however, the majority of small and medium-sized merchants continue to be under-educated with respect to EMV, its implications, and the approaching deadline.