Back in April I blogged about how rapid developments in NFC technology should incite retailers to start preparing for widespread market entry of the mobile wallet. What I regretted to emphasize was how equally important it is for retailers to start thinking about the impending adoption of EMV chip-and-PIN technology in the U.S.
For those of you who don’t already know, EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, and is the payment security standard of choice in just about every developed country in the world except the U.S.
But that’s all about to change now that some of the bigger credit card companies are throwing their weight behind the globally compatible technology. In an effort to get more U.S. merchants on board the payment innovation train, Visa developed a “road map” to aid retailers in their roll-outs. And, as many analysts had predicted, MasterCard quickly followed suit by announcing in January 2012 its own plan to advance the electronic payment system in the U.S.
While MasterCard has yet to release any specific dates behind its migration project, Visa will be expanding its Technology Innovation Program (TIP) to the U.S. in October 2012. To qualify, retailers must be able to support contact and contactless terminals.
Here are some of the important deadlines/details behind the expansion:
• October 2012: Visa expands the TIP program to the U.S.. TIP will eliminate the requirement that eligible merchants annually validate their compliance with the PCI DSS for any year in which at least 75% of the merchant’s Visa transactions originate from dual-interface EMV chip-enabled terminals (in addition to meeting other qualification criteria).
• April 2013: All acquirers and acquirer-processors must have the ability to pass EMV chip data in order to provide support for the dynamic data-enhanced infrastructure.
• October 2015: Liability shifts. Merchants that have not adopted contact chip technology by this time will be liable for losses linked to card fraud (if EMV chip technology could have prevented the fraud). October 2017 for gas station terminals.
Now, I realize that some of you may be thinking, “big deal,” I just won’t be a part of it. But I’m here to tell you that it is a big deal—especially if you’re currently making investments in new technology. It’s also worth emphasizing that being a part of the Visa “TIP” program will eliminate the need for PCI compliance, so retailers may want to reconsider.
So, we want to know: Does your business qualify for Visa’s TIP Program? Do your payment terminals currently support both EMV contact and contactless chip acceptance, including mobile contactless payments based on NFC technology? Join our LinkedIn group, Retail tekSPERTS and weigh in! We’re always online, so if you’d rather just stay up-to-date on the latest developments in retail/hospitality technology, you can always follow us on Twitter @tekservePOS or connect with us on Facebook.