Consumers in the U.S. are nearly entirely equipped for a post-EMV environment, but merchant preparedness continues to lag, according to new numbers released yesterday by Mastercard. While 80 percent of its credit cards already issued to consumers carry EMV chips, only 30 percent of merchant locations on Mastercard’s network are able to accept chip cards. Merchants are blaming the delay in EMV implementation on long waits to certify new POS systems many claim they have already installed.
Whatever the reason, it appears the intended effect of EMV is already taking place. Mastercard said counterfeit card fraud is down at its top 5 EMV-enabled merchants by more than 60 percent since Oct. 1, 2015. Payment industry observers have been predicting just that for several years. The entire industry also is bracing for a surge in card-not-present fraud as fraudsters turn their attention away from the POS toward the e- and m-commerce channels where it is now relatively easier. A recent study confirmed this has already started happening.
The question remains, however, since relatively few merchants are running EMV transactions, just how high will CNP fraud surge as more retailers are able to accept chip cards?