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US EMV migration will take years

Its October the 1st. The deadline for US merchants to accept secure chip-enabled credit and debit cards,the US EMV migration, may take years for the conversion to be fully implemented.

“Realistically, we should expect the adoption of chip cards in the US to take a few years,”

An EMV card with the US flag on it

US EMV migration will take years

says Gartner analyst Avivah Litan.  Banks are issuing chip cards to millions of customers to replace magnetic stripe cards because they are more secure, while merchants who fail to meet the deadline will be liable for financial losses due to card fraud.

“My estimate is that it will take at least two more years for the majority of transactions in the US to be ‘chip on chip,’ which means a chip card is inserted into a chip-accepting terminal,” Litan says.

The US lags other countries in converting to chip cards because magnetic stripe card fraud was not nearly as widespread in the US 15 years ago when Europe was facing a much larger fraud problem.

There are about 12 million card readers at US payment terminals that need to be converted to accept chip cards, but analysts say only about half have made the change so far.

60% of consumers lack EMV cards

Six out of 10 consumers say they either not received a chip-enabled card or do not understand the use and purpose of the new cards they have received, according to an ACI Worldwide survey.

Retailers and banks are rushing to meet the Oct. 1 EMV liability shift deadline, but the 59% of respondents with one or more credit or debit cards saying they still have not received a chip-enabled card reflects how slowly banks are issuing EMV cards.

In addition, 33% of those who had already received a chip-based card said they were unaware of the “real reason” for receiving a new card.  However, millennials and Gen Xers did have a better understanding of EMV, with 78% of respondents saying they have knowledge on the subject.

In contrast, consumers aged 65 and older showed the least awareness, with only 66% indicating an understanding of EMV. Moreover, 55% of households with an income of $100,000 or higher reported having received chip-enabled cards.

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