It’s October 1 – Do your credit and debit cards have smart chips in them? Are your local and national merchants ready to accept your cards? Do the merchants know how to accept your chip card? Your answer: Maybe?

With today as the self-imposed deadline by credit card companies for U.S. adoption of EMV technology, many card issuers and merchants are finding themselves lagging behind. Many consumers are still waiting for their new chip cards to be issued by their banks and merchants are still trying to figure out how to operate their new payment terminals.

Today the US payment ecosystem makes a major move towards smart card migration – something many other countries did years ago. In fact, EMV card technology exists in almost every other developed country other than the US – with the UK being the clear leader with chip card technology since the mid-2000’s. Since that time, the UK, as with much of Europe, has moved on to adopt chip and PIN technology which requires purchasers to both dip their card in a payment terminal and enter their PIN number for added security. While chip and PIN adoption has helped to significantly combat fraud in the UK and Europe, criminals then move to other points of weakness, such as card-not-present transactions. Combating card-not-present fraud will be the next step in securing card payments – innovation in the areas of tokenized payments and other forms of encryption will be key.

So when will the US be fully compliant with this new technology? Many believe that it will be years before all cards are chip cards and all merchants have the proper payment terminals – especially in outlying rural areas. However, the future of EMV adoption looks bright – today, the most important thing consumers and merchants can do is ensure that they are educated on the topic – consumers on what to do with their cards and merchants on how to use their terminals.

You can read more about Entrust Datacard EMV solutions here.

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