The shift is essentially putting EMV chip cards into the hands of American consumers as the country’s regulatory framework shifts to incentivize their use, since the EMV chip cards’ automatically generated one-time codes for transaction authentication add an important extra layer of security to transactions. While EMV chip cards are undeniably more secure than traditional magnetic strip cards, the FBI’s PSA focused on the security risks that are nevertheless present in the new technology.
That’s fine with the Electronic Payments Coalition, which has issued a statement in which it uses the FBI’s PSA as an opportunity to highlight the advantages of EMV chip security while warning against consumer complacence when it comes to security. The EPC notes that in other countries where EMV chip cards have been embraced, in-store counterfeit payment card fraud was reduced by 60 to 70 percent, but also commends the FBI’s efforts to raise consumer awareness about security, noting that “education is a critical component of any effort to improve security and this announcement is an important part of the FBI’s ongoing effort to combat fraud and cybersecurity threats.”
The EPC concludes its statement with a criticism of merchants’ resistance to the technology’s introduction, noting that a recent poll found that “only 27 percent of merchants are ready to accept EMV chip cards.” Still, given the growing popularity of mPayment systems like Apple Pay, which relies on EMV technology for its transaction, many merchants may soon find a persuasive incentive to adopt EMV readers in the form of growing consumer demand.