While it’s true that EMV is smoothly running at the majority of Big Box retailers, the U.S. market has another 5 million devices to light up at small business locations, especially restaurants.

Industry experts are increasingly focused on four pinch points that seem to account for much of the SMB holdup.

  • Certifications remain a bottleneck. Certs are necessary to eliminate air gaps in transaction security, but the task is extra challenging in the United States. The sheer number of technology providers seeking certifications and the complexity of many transaction paths make it a hard job.
  • Transaction speed is another hindrance. The quick service restaurant category, in particular, has held off on EMV as a result of the slowness. While card brands and processors have pushed Quick Chip, too few providers have brought it to market.
  • EMV integrations are too hard for POS systems providers. In the mag stripe era POS systems performed “integrated payments” whereby clear text card data was collected through simple swipe readers and transactions were formatted inside an everyday PC. All of that turned out to be a huge security risk. As a consequence, POS providers are swamped with a mountain of uncompensated PCI and EMV work.
  • A fourth and less well known hang-up has to do with device management. Security requires updating systems against threats. In EMV this is done by downloading new software into card readers. Payment processors and device makers are working to automate the process, but progress is slow. It’s particularly challenging with USB card readers and those that use middleware. Such configurations depend on merchant PCs and iPads to effect downloads, which can be problematic.

It will take a collaborative effort to correct these shortcomings in time for the April 2018 reinstatement of the EMV liability shift by Visa and American Express. These two card brands dominate the T&E category, so fraud volumes will have particular impact on bars and restaurants.

As the new fraud hits in April, establishments will naturally migrate to capable POS providers and nimble EMV players that can help them defense against chargebacks.


About RevChip

RevChip is the most comprehensive and affordable EMV and Apple Pay software built for the U.S. market. It connects to major processors without a transaction fee and runs equally on Verifone and Ingenico devices. Using RevChip, merchants eliminate card data from their systems and shrink the burdens of PCI. The RevChip SDK provides POS developers with a quick and thorough integration without the hassles of middleware.

To learn more about how RevChip solves for EMV and Apple Pay, download our POS Developer Guide or reach us at (800)560-0415.