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Alphabet Soup
Written by President of MCPS, Art Leiberman
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Learn all about EMVs
Recent News
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Announcement:  MCPS for Campgrounds and MCPS of Central PA are pleased to
announce that they have added two members to our staff, both as Regional
Managers. Jess Trego, will be handling several regions in the US for our
Campground Division, while Michael Murphy will become Director of Lycoming
County, which includes Williamsport, PA. With this Announcement, MCPS of
Ceentral PA will open it's new office at 140 West 4th Street in Williamsport.

We have written extensively about the efforts of Visa and MasterCard to implement
the chip card method of processing, into the United States. For those who have
missed all that has taken place, here is a very brief review.

In 2012, Visa and MasterCard were determined to install a new credit card
technology into the US, which had worked successfully in Europe. Called “Europay
Visa MasterCard”, the new technology imbedded computer chips in new credit and
debit cards.  The object was to eliminate the magnetic strip on these cards, which
could be easily read by counterfeiters. The plan was also to eliminate signatures
from the process, and substitute PIN transactions. The reasoning was based on the
fact that, in the US, theft of credit cards had accounted for $800 BILLION in yearly
losses to the economy.

Several factors were obviously involved in the process of that. Card-issuing banks
would have to distribute new credit and debit cards to consumers. New terminals,
capable of reading the new chip cards, would have to be sold to merchants in the
US. Finally, it was determined that after the complete roll-out of the new system,
responsibility for fraudulent transactions at point of sale would rest with merchants.

An “announcement” was made to all of those involved in 2014, and a “deadline” for
the completion of the final installation of the system was set at October 1st, 2015.  
They might as well have made the deadline October 31st, Halloween, since the entire
launch program was a horror.

The launch was nearly a complete failure. Only 22% of the cards were distributed by
banks. Only 31% of merchants had purchased the EMV-ready terminals, and very
few processors had prepared the encryption for the new credit card terminals to
function properly. For restaurants, many terminals would not work with tip
programs. Some merchants found that their terminals would not properly read the
chip cards, so they had to use the magnetic strips anyway. There were a variety of
problems with the whole system until, finally, a group of merchants ended up suing
Visa and MasterCard for the entire rollout. It was estimated that the EMV liability
shift was costing retailors money in chargebacks. From October 2015 to October
2016, it is estimated that the rollout cost retailers $5.8 billion dollars in chargebacks.

In January 2016, the card companies announced a new target date for the rollout as
sometime in 2017. As the year progressed and pressure was taken off banks, the
rollout, however, slowed down. Although it does appear that most credit cards will
carry the chips by 2017, debit cards are not faring too well.

So now the deadline has been moved once again, and the card companies seem to
insist that this is the REAL deadline for the total installation of the EMV system.
From that date, all new credit and debit cards will ONLY contain the chips, and not
the magnetic strips. All transactions will be chips and PIN, and no signatures will be
required. Moreover, it is anticipated that there will be a huge decrease in point-of-
sale fraud, from credit card transactions.

The new date? 2020! That date might finally be a reality. If you’ve read my previous
articles, one of which was written in August of 2015, before the original deadline, I
predicted that the eventual rollout would be completed in 2020. I guess I was at the
other end of the road, waiting for the can to come to me.