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While there was some initial trepidation on the part of merchants large and small about what the effects of adopting EMV would mean for them, it seems that time has been a big factor in broadening acceptance. With falling in-store fraud and efforts on the part of payment processors to make each transaction go faster, plus consumers’ growing familiarity with EMV on an everyday basis, it should come as no surprise that merchants are stepping up and adopting EMV as well.

For any merchants that have yet to take the step – for whatever reason – to adopt EMV, working with a point of sale reseller to find an option that works well, both now and going forward, could be a great way to bridge that gap as soon as possible.

In fact, the draw of the convenience and added security EMV provides is even strong enough to get more businesses onboard with the payment platform when they don’t have to be, according to Convenience Store News. While gas stations have received an extended deadline to meet EMV standards, pushed back from later this year to 2020, the Spokane-based chain Divine’s recently started the process to switch its gas pumps to accept EMV well before the new cut-off date.

“It will certainly boost our business inside the store. We also look forward to turning on EMV as soon as possible to protect our customers and ourselves from fraud liability,” Divine’s CEO Jim Redmon said in announcing the switch, which was aimed at both reducing fraud and attracting new customers.

Increased Security – A Clear Benefit

Indeed, over the course of last year, the number of EMV-enabled cards and card readers that were put into circulation across the U.S. served to substantially reduce the amount of debit-related fraud in particular, according to the latest Debit Issuer Study from Pulse. In fact, from 2015 to 2016, debit fraud fell 28 percent, but card issuers still suffered about $900 million in fraud losses. It is clear that security is a huge benefit to switching over to EMV. Merchants do not want to risk the cost of fraudulent charges and chargebacks. The liability costs are hefty, especially to smaller merchants who are working tirelessly to keep their businesses afloat.

In January 2017, the total number of chip-based debit transactions grew to 30 percent of all debit purchases (including those made online, which would not be eligible to use EMV), an increase of 650 percent year-over-year.

Meeting Customer Expectations

With widespread use of smart phones, customers now expect everything to be at their fingertips. They want that same speed and convenience carried over into their shopping experiences. EMV helps improve wait times by eliminating counting change at the cash register and offer customers more ways to pay. A more convenient and quick shopping experience creates a happier and more fulfilled customer. Merchants recognize that customers will continue to come back to their store if their shopping experience has been a breeze.

Most banks have issued chip cards and instructions to consumers, which means they are more ready and willing to utilize them. Merchants who have switched to EMV are aware of this and have made great strides to get their point-of-sale systems up to speed with chip card payments.

Why Wait?

Those merchants that haven’t made the switch are now in the vast minority of businesses worldwide when it comes to EMV acceptance, according to Small Business Trends. Recent data shows more than 3 in 4 merchants outside the U.S. are set up to accept these cards, and that number continues to grow at a rapid rate, just as it does for American businesses.

With all this in mind, it’s wise for merchants of any size to at least begin exploring their options for EMV adoption in the near future, so that when they need to make the switch, they’ll be ready to do so relatively quickly. That kind of preparation will help them make the most informed decisions based on their specific needs, and further improve their payment security and processing capabilities.