EMV Progress Update – Cloudy with a chance of sunshine

cloudy emv
The POS and payment industry is working to reach a new level of security in the retail environment.  A few weeks ago we polled industry members on the status and published a story about EMV readiness, and again last week.  There is some progress, although the core sentiment seems to be the one expressed by Debi Besmer at Archelon, “still navigating”
     Last week we ran an article about an up and running EMV solution for a small retail merchant, it was the only one we could find right now, but I suspect that we’re just four to six weeks away from a gaggle of EMV functioning installations.   The response rate to the article was very high, and occasionally quite fiery.    We spoke with representatives from several top companies who were very forthcoming about equipment issues – look for that article to appear here tomorrow – there’s much you will want to read about.
Debi Besmer, Archelon, www.ArchelonEnclosures.com..many of our customers are still navigating thru all the information relating to EMV and how this shift of responsibility is actually going to affect their business.   We designed our products to be modular, so we are ready to assist the customer once they determine which new EMV device is the best solution for them.”  
Stuart Taylor – Equinox Payments  – www.equinoxpayments.com – “Tier 1 retailers are making good progress towards implementing EMV although when you dig into the detail you find many will only be supporting EMV credit by October. The complications of implementing cash-back and lowest cost routing (US Common Debit) are substantial for some retailers/segments.   Many Tier 2 and 3 retailers are only just beginning to understand the complexity of implementing EMV within their current magnetic stripe based risk management and business processes. Some have decided to implement point-to-point encryption ahead of EMV.”
Jerry Shively, Poindus America Corp, www.poindus.com  – “…this continues to require patience and time. From early adopters in the industry,  we are seeing partnerships in hardware, software and processors driving ‘agnostic transparency’. Bottom line, expect growing pains as new products and ideas come to market.”  
Jennifer Wiebe, Speedline Solutions Inc www.speedlinesolutions.com – “…merchant customers are fuzzy on the requirements. At last month’s International Pizza Expo, we found ourselves repeatedly pulling out our wallets to show customers what a chip-card looks like, and explaining how chip and PIN and NFC transactions work.”
Dan Chandre, Booker Software, Inc www.booker.com  – “Merchants are scared about fraud and liability, so it’s not a matter of receptivity but instead a willingness to endure change to accomplish compliance. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusing information out there that doesn’t help to assuage the merchant.” 
Chris Ciabarra, Revel Systems, www.revelsystems.com  – “Retailers should start making the shift to EMV well in advance of the October deadline to avoid a fire drill.”
Roger Blanchard, Osprey Retail Systems, Inc,  www.OspreyRetailSystems.com  – “This EMV migration is a challenge. My POS application is out of scope so we need to rely on our payment vendor for the EMV control. We have received a preliminary spec for review but are a few weeks (so I am told) away from having a final spec. We are also a few weeks away from having an actual control so we can test.”
Dan King, New West Technologies, www.newestech.com – “We are seeing few vendors able to give us clear messages and roadmaps. “
Seung J. Kim, iConnect POS, www.iconnectpos.com  – “what we are currently experiencing as an ISV is that many gateways aren’t quite ready for the shift to EMV. We rely on partnerships with vendors who continually push to exceed the status-quo of the payments industry. ISVs and hardware manufacturers seem to be more responsive to this shift than others.” 
Brian Tuberman, STCR, Inc www.stcr.com  – “ ..there is a great deal to be accomplished in a short window of time. We find our software vendors are working hard to deliver the product and road map need to accomplish.”
Jason Seed,  Kounta POS,  www.Kounta.com  – “ …being from Australia we were born into the EMV space and understand the need for quality. Customers (Merchants) need to understand that as well, there are many “free” and very simple supposed EMV terminals being offered, I recommend that customers be very careful about such simple devices as from experience they do not stand up to ongoing use.”
Sean Connors, POS Prophet Systems, www.posprophetsystems.com  – “There is still much hardware ambiguity in hospitality environments because some of the card issuers will require chip & pin while others are only requiring chip & signature.  If chip & PIN is required, this essentially makes a tableside payment device a requirement in those full service environments.”
Justin Zeigler, Datacap Systems Inc, www.datacapsystems.com 
 – “Some merchants are champing at the bit for US EMV support while others are planning to ignore the shift altogether. The level of interest for EMV support varies from merchant to merchant, depending largely on the merchant’s associated risk – high-value vs low-value sales, history of fraudulent card use and/or chargebacks, and overall cost to upgrade. POS resellers are working to take on a consultative role with their merchants to assist in determining whether the move to US EMV-enabled solutions is a good fit initially or whether it makes more sense for specific merchants to wait until their next POS upgrade cycle to make the move.”
    Tomorrow we’ll dig into the equipment issues and talk about availability, which remains a problem for certain models of equipment.    One question that we don’t have a good answer to;  since EMV has been in Europe, Canada and elsewhere for many years, why is this such a challenge, and why did it take to the last minute to get specs in place?   Meanwhile, earlier in today’s news, it was reported that a major POS software company was hacked and 4,200+ of their point of sale installations appear to have been violated – in spite of the fact that they were using anti-virus software.  So – if you think any POS installation is not a target, you’re walking a dangerous line 
   Have a thought to share?  Email us using the Contact link on the Footer tab below.   See you tomorrow.