Truth or Dare with EMV in 2016
The end of the year is bringing a lot of reflection as the 4th quarter always does. For issuers, this reflection must include evaluating where they are with the EMV liability shift that took place October 1st. After a number of discussions, forums and interviews with all the players, the market is turning the corner that will force issuers into a game they probably haven’t played since high school. “Truth or Dare.” I am way past my teenage years, but for the same reason that most people didn’t want to play Truth or Dare, simply put, issuers don’t want to be forced to play. For those who have never played, Truth or Dare puts the participant in the middle between an unknown risk of a dare, or facing the honesty and exposure of the truth. In the EMV world, there are a series of Truth’s and Dare’s that the issuers have to face. I played this game with several issuers and the answers were somewhat surprising. So now that our parents are in bed and our friends are gathered around in the basement ready to begin, let’s slip back to those times and play along …
TRUTH: When did you really engage in your EMV chip strategy?
Answer: I really started to pay attention at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2015; I admit it was later than I wanted to, but there was just too much fodder in the market.
DARE: I dare you to pull out your wallet, show me your payment cards and describe how many chip versus non-chip cards you have.
Answer: I was afraid of that. I have 5 cards in my wallet, 3 Major Bank Cards (1 debit and 2 Credit), “My Bank Credit Card” and “My Bank Debit Card.” Mine do not have a chip, theirs all do.
TRUTH: Do you know what your Counterfeit Fraud rates are?
Answer: No, total losses are something regularly discussed, but Counterfeit and Card Not Present aren’t things my team has at the ready.
DARE: I dare you to go out shopping and see how many Merchants are “ready” to accept chip cards.
Answer: (After 3 days of course). I went to four stores; three had chip-enabled terminals but only one had the chip feature turned on. The other had an old terminal without a slot. The employees were surprisingly informed about chip, the process as to how to use the terminals that is.
TRUTH: How important is EMV chip issuance in your 2016 plan?
Answer: Not very, we already did the implementation and now we are just handling it all through reissue, is there more to do?
A FINAL DARE: I dare you to play this game yourself, you might learn the truth and hopefully DARE yourself along the way.
Of course this is just one conversation, but the undeniable truth is that EMV is just starting to be a part of our industry and ultimately our culture. Being engaged in the next evolutions of EMV is important for any issuer just like it is for any merchant. So just like the game, the winner in Truth or Dare is the one who takes the dare and tells the truth. Have you played Truth or Dare with your decisions about EMV? Maybe it’s a good time for a game….