Now that almost four months have passed since the Oct. 1, 2015, Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) implementation deadline and many of us are focused on the EMV transition for merchants lagging behind, we took a look at how this card-brand push for U.S. EMV acceptance has fared so far.
While work remains in terms of merchant EMV awareness, a greater challenge exists in obtaining processor certification for EMV-compliant terminals and software applications. And many consumers know little to none about the benefits to EMV chip cards, so they are not demanding them from issuers, who have also been slowed by their technology providers.
Also, in the frenzy over EMV, some have forgotten it's only one part of creating a more secure payment system. EMV alone cannot protect sensitive cardholder information. Two contributing writers emphasized that a layered approach is required. The first focused on the role of point-to-point encryption (P2PE), noting that many merchants do not know that without P2PE, card numbers are sent through their POS systems unencrypted even if EMV chip cards are used. The second discussed the benefits and limitations of tokenization. Other contributed articles delve into the current state of mergers and acquisitions in payments; the opportunities found (including startlingly high basis points) in the high-risk merchant sector; insights into the daily lives of merchant level salespeople; and a look at what payment professionals might be up against when the major card brands are eventually disintermediated.
In the news, we've covered ways companies are meeting new federal standards, in particular, those for airport kiosks; a Federal Trade Commission challenge to business owners and consumers to evaluate the benefits and risks of data analytics; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s plans to add MasterPass to all its e-commerce websites in 2016, and six Russian banks that the Office of Foreign Assets and Control just made off limits for U.S. companies and individuals.
Along with our usual mention of company and industry milestones, news briefs, and new product spotlights; additional articles in this issue touch on ISO automation, authoritative website creation, a need for the human touch in merchant sales, the consumer preference for smartphones for online purchasing, and the state of online retailing in 2016.
Contained herein is much food for thought selected to help you while on your payments journey. Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. And keep your press releases coming to email@example.com.
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