As we transition from summer into fall, independent grocers continue to face challenges as they attempt to complete the transition to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip readers at the point of sale (POS). October 1 marks the one-year anniversary of the liability shift that was forced upon retailers who were unable to meet the aggressive implementation timeline set in place by EMVCo.
The October 1, 2015 liability shift transferred liability for fraudulent purchases made with EMV chip cards at non-EMV capable POS terminals entirely onto the merchant, resulting in significant chargebacks for those merchants who were unable to become fully certified in advance of the deadline. One NGA member who participated in a survey on the issue reports that they have had more than $10,000 in chargebacks since the liability shift-after previously having no issue with chargebacks. These unplanned-for costs can have a substantial negative impact on a business.
NGA members have spent tens of thousands of dollars on upgrading their POS terminals and software in order to come into compliance, with nearly 90% of surveyed members reporting that they had invested in new EMV-capable hardware. And yet, only 33% of surveyed members have had their terminals fully certified to accept chip cards due to delays in the certification process, which is controlled by EMVCo. Of those that are still waiting on their certifications, many NGA members have reported having EMV chip readers installed well before October 1, 2015 while waiting to obtain their certification. Many independent grocers will see the anniversary of the liability shift come and go without having received their certifications despite having EMV hardware installed in their stores.
NGA has engaged with federal regulators and Congress to address these challenges. In addition, NGA has worked with Visa to address delays in the certification process. Looking to the future, NGA will continue to keep up the pressure until the delays and chargebacks are resolved.
On this anniversary, independent grocers have asked for EMV certifications, and will likely only receive chargebacks.