head in sand

WHAAAAAAAT?  This is the new card-present standard mandated for October 2015, and 34% have not heard of it?

Thirty-four percent of merchants interviewed late last year for an Aite Group research report on EMV readiness had never heard of the U.S. migration to EMV-chip payment cards, despite the fast-approaching October 2015 deadline set by the card networks.

Furthermore, of the more than 400 merchants surveyed, 46% said they had not yet begun any preparations for EMV acceptance. A company that misses the October deadline faces a shift in fraud liability (gas stations have until October 2017).

There is a general understanding throughout the U.S. payment industry that smaller merchants are going to be the last to convert to implement the point of sale technology needed to accept EMV cards, but something is amiss if — three years after the card brands announced the U.S. initiative — merchants don't even know what EMV is.

This revelation "is just stunning," said report author Thad Peterson, senior analyst with Boston-based Aite Group. "I have talked to friends who operate different types of retail operations and it [EMV] is not something they are paying attention to."