You have probably noticed now when you pull out your credit/debit card to use for a transaction you may have two ways to pay. One of the most common things I have seen is the EMV enabled terminal with a sign taped over the card dipping area that reads no chip, and force people to slide. I have also experienced the clerk telling me to swipe or dip, it is my choice. What are you supposed to do?
18 months ago, a deadline to meet for all merchants was forced on the nation’s retailers. Become EMV compliant or face serious financial penalties. This marked the big switch from the old-style mag stripe cards to the new, computer chip enabled, EMV card. Even with the roll out 18 months later, most of us are still swiping instead of dipping our cards many times a week.
At first, it was thought, that the slowdown was caused by the initial investment merchants would have to make for each terminal of over $500 per line. But hardware does not seem to be the issue. The EMV compliant terminals are everywhere, but they just have not been turned on yet.
Only one out of five enabled terminals have been correctly processed and turned on to accept the new payment protocol. That means over 80% of the terminals that are in merchants stores right now and ready to accept EMV are not available to process them.
Merchants have taken to the courts as they feel the big banks are conspiring to pass the bill for fraudulent transactions from them to the store owners. New rules went into effect and have since been changed to pass all fraudulent transactions onto the store owner, if they are not using the new EMV terminals correctly. Two small Florida stores, in court papers, have claimed that their fraudulent transactions bill has increased 2o fold since the issuers changed the rules. Across the country, smaller stores are being taken for real money, big money.
But the use problem does not seem to be just a hardware problem.
Software Issues
The new terminals need to be programed with a new, 2 step procedure. First they must be programmed with the new software, and then they must be certified. Both steps cost money, and the delay for certification before a store can accept EMV can be weeks and even months.
A Florida liquor merchant has been waiting for months for the certification process to be completed with no end in sight. In October of 2016, while waiting for certification, they incurred 9200 dollars in charge back on 80 incidents. This is after the deadline was mandated, but no certification could be given to them to take care of these chargebacks. In retrospect, the year prior, they incurred 3 Chargeback for the same period of time. Because the certification process has been so long, they have been forced by Visa and MasterCard, to operate outside of the protection of the banks for fraud, not because they were non-compliant, but because the certification agencies were so backlogged, they could not perform their duties.
Short of taking on the business killing decision to not take plastic, these small businesses are forced to endure this cost of doing business, to keep their doors open.

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