New Study Examines Who’s Ready for EMV Migration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Major retailers are on track to meet the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) October liability shift deadlines for point-of-sale (POS) purchases, according to a CardHub survey of 50 large retailers, as well as five retailers that recently suffered a data breach.

Despite this fact, transparency is low on the part of retailers, with only 17 of the 55 surveyed in the CardHub 2015 EMV Migration Report able to describe detailed information about their EMV policies. Those able to provide this detailed information were labeled as "transparent" retailers, while those unable to do so were classified as "non-transparent" retailers.

Two convenience store retailers were involved in the survey: the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and 7-Eleven Inc. The Exchange was tagged with a transparent moniker, while 7-Eleven received a non-transparent designation.

When contacted by CardHub, The Exchange responded it would have a 100-percent upgrade to EMV-capable POS systems by October. However, it added that its store-branded credit cards would not feature EMV technology by the October liability shift date, but "internal system enhancements will be pursued."

7-Eleven did not provide information about its EMV upgrade plans, nor could public information regarding the process be found, according to Washington, D.C.-based CardHub.

On Oct. 1, c-store retailers need to upgrade their POS equipment to EMV-capable readers if they want to avoid financial responsibility for fraudulent transactions. Credit card companies currently assume responsibility for such transactions. It is important to note that the Oct. 1 deadline is a liability shift date for responsibility only. C-store retailers are not required to make the upgrade.


CardHub's report also reviewed EMV policies of the 10 largest credit card issuers, all of whom are in the process of issuing chip-based credit and debit cards and expect the majority of their portfolios to be updated by the end of 2015.

The 2015 EMV Migration Report revealed the following about credit card issuers:

  • All of the major banks are issuing chip-and-signature cards, with 40 percent also supporting PIN capabilities.
  • All chip-based cards issued by major banks will continue to have magnetic stripes — enhancing usability while also mitigating certain fraud protection benefits.
  • Contrary to retailers, credit card issuers displayed exceptional transparency, with all of them providing information about their EMV transition plans.
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