Consumer Awareness of EMV Growing

Less than one month remains before the first major milestone in the U.S. EMV migration:  the October deadline to install EMV capable point-of-sale (POS) systems. At this point you might be wondering if your customers are even aware of what the chip on their new credit and debit cards means or how to use those cards at an EMV-enabled terminal. In July 2015, an Associated Press-Gfk Poll was conducted to measure consumer awareness of EMV, and the results indicated that the majority of consumers understand EMV and why it’s coming to the U.S.

stripe card vs. chip cardOf note in the survey results is that 51% of respondents understand the reasons why this new type of chip is being added to credit and debit cards, and 75% of respondents are confident that EMV will improve security when making purchases with their cards. We can expect these numbers to keep increasing in the coming months as more and more consumers start being forced to “dip” their chip cards in EMV-enabled readers versus the standard swipe they’ve been accustomed to, which will lead them to inquire about the differences. Many believe that once consumers become more familiar with EMV and its benefits, they will begin to move away from doing business at retailers that can’t accept their chip cards, which could significantly impact sales for those that don’t adopt EMV.

The AP poll also indicated that many consumers do not know how to use their EMV cards properly. I’ve personally witnessed a few confused customers in checkout lanes when they use their EMV card for the first time, so for me this highlights the importance of training your cashiers and employees about EMV and how to help consumers use their chip cards properly. This training will also be critical when EMV is enabled at your fuel dispensers as there isn’t a separate slot for EMV cards as there is on most indoor PIN pads. Consumers will have to get used to leaving their card inserted in the card reader at EMV-enabled dispensers, or continuing to swipe at those that aren’t.

It’s also worth noting that as consumers and retailers become more aware of EMV, fraudsters will continue pushing to cash in at locations where they can still use counterfeit cards, which will make petroleum retailers a prime target due to the additional two years before the October 2017 EMV deadline at the pump. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Credit-Card Fraudsters Pump Gas Stations for Profit”, noted that “gas stations make easy targets for those who want to make fraudulent purchases using stolen numbers, since pumps are usually unattended.” The article also stated that the payment-card industry estimated $500 million in fuel-related fraud in 2013. That number could be much higher by 2017, and a large portion of liability for that cost would be shifted to retailers that don’t upgrade for EMV. This highlights the importance for petroleum retailers to begin their EMV upgrades at the pump well ahead of the deadline.     

Additional Information:

For additional resources on the EMV migration to the US and its impact on our industry, please see:

  1. Gilbarco’s EMV informational web-page
  2. Previous Gilbarco blog posts on EMV:
    1. November 2014 – Fraud at the Pump – How EMV Can Eliminate “Pump and Dump” Schemes
    2. January 2015 – EMV Made Easy – How the Consumer Experience Will Change
    3. March 2015 – Have My Chip – Now Where’s My PIN?
    4. April 2015 – EMV Liability Shift Dates Standing Firm
    5. May 2015 – Credit Card Fraud and EMV in the News
    6. June 2015 – Where Does the Fraud Go Post EMV
    7. August 2015 – Connect Your Forecourt for the Future
  3. Product Opportunities to create an ROI from the EMV Migration
  4. EMV Migration Forum – Knowledge Center


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