Retailers still unprepared for EMV deadline, survey shows

blue chip-and-PIN payment card

With only nine months until the EMV migration deadline following a year of notable data breaches, retail and technology professionals are still unprepared for the switch, according to a recent survey by ACI Worldwide.

Nearly one quarter of respondents to a survey of 200 retail industry professionals at the National Retail Federation’s 104th Annual Convention and Expo, “The Big Show,” in January are still not fully prepared for the migration to chip & PIN technology. Of the retailers surveyed (55 percent of total respondents), 14 per cent still have work to do, 19 per cent are not prepared and 22 percent are still evaluating their options.

Target, Kmart and Staples were just a few of the retailers to be hit by hugely damaging hacks in the last year, and payments security will remain a key issue in 2015. More than half (59 per cent) of ACI Worldwide’s survey respondents cited that the past year’s data breaches have impacted investments in payment security initiatives. 39 percent have already increased investments in payment security initiatives while 20 percent indicated they plan to increase investments in payment security initiatives over the next 12-24 months.

But despite retailers’ intent to increase investments in payments security, the survey found a notable lack of urgency regarding the migration to chip & PIN technology. EMV—Europay, MasterCard and Visa—is the global standard for credit and debit card payments. The industry deadline for U.S. retailers to adopt EMV technology is October 2015, at which point retailers without EMV-enabled point-of-sale systems will become liable for credit card fraud at their locations. Just 12 pe rcent of retailer respondents are already compliant, while 19 per cent are confident they will meet the October deadline.

“Data breaches are top-of-mind for retailers, which have already or are planning to increase payment security spending, yet a sizable number of those surveyed are not fully prepared for meeting EMV timelines,” said Lynn Holland, vice president at ACI Worldwide.  “At the same time, consumers want assurances that their data will never be compromised when they make purchases.

“Many retailing customers with which we speak to are taking steps to address the EMV requirements, but like any major undertaking, are trying to manage this along with other payment security, IT and technology initiatives,” she added.

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