Retailers, Banks Skirmish Over EMV Deadline

April 6, 2015

Retailers, Banks Skirmish Over EMV Deadline In a letter to card networks and major credit-card issuers last week, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), a trade group representing thousands of supermarkets and pharmacies, asked that they consider delaying the Oct. 1 deadline to implement EMV capability at their point of sale. Retailers that have not complied with the deadline will be liable for any counterfeit fraud perpetrated on card purchases. Currently, that liability resides with issuing banks. Card-not-present fraud in the U.S. is expected to surge after conversion of retailers’ POS systems to EMV because counterfeit fraud will be more difficult and fraudsters will turn to online and other CNP channels that are less well protected.

According to reports, the FMI said in its letter October is not an optimal time for retailers to be making this change, which will require extensive training for consumers and result in longer lines during the holiday shopping season.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) fired back on Thursday, claiming retail groups have been hypocritical in attacking banks over implementing the less secure chip-and-signature rather than the true chip-and-PIN systems that exist in most other countries that have migrated to the EMV standard. NAFCU drafted its own letter in response to the retailers, which they sent to congressional leaders in Washington. The group told key senators and congressmen that retailer associations like the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association “have intentionally detracted from substantive issues” by focusing “exclusively on a smoke-and-mirrors campaign.”