A new NRF survey proves what we’ve been saying for months about conversion to the new chip-and-signature credit cards — that retailers have done their part and it’s the card industry that’s dropped the ball. The survey, conducted in May and June, found that 48 percent of retailers responding had already implemented the new “EMV” chip card system or expected to have done so by the end of June. A total of 86 percent expect to have EMV — short for Europay MasterCard Visa — up and running by the end of the year.
Of those who had not implemented, 57 percent said they had already installed the card readers and other equipment but were still waiting for certification by the card industry so they could turn it on. And 60 percent of those said they had been waiting for six months or longer.
Those numbers are considerably higher than those pushed out by the banking industry, which has tried to portray retailers as slow to adopt the new system. But the survey found that EMV is a top priority for retailers — 58 percent of those surveyed called it their top payments-related challenge for 2016, and 72 percent said it is their top payments initiative for the year.