Handpoint reports that with just over 100 days to go until the 'liability shift', the transition to EMV in the US is creating significant confusion along the entire payments value chain, from merchants, to sellers, to ISVs and processors. All these players in the ecosystem are struggling to get through long queues of EMV certifications, ISVs are challenged to offer integrated EMV and stay out-of-scope, sellers are wondering when they will have EMV solutions that they can sell, and merchants are wondering what EMV is.
Fortunately, the US is not the first country to have made the switch from magnetic stripe to chip cards (EMV). There is an important opportunity to learn from those who have navigated these transitions globally. "We've seen these migrations in multiple markets. While there are important specifics, many outcomes are the same because the transition from magstripe to EMV has consistent challenges," says David Gudjonsson, CEO at Handpoint. To help make the transition faster and easier, Handpoint is bringing its complete EMV payments solution from Europe to the US and Canada.
Handpoint provides an option for 'next generation' POS solutions looking to bring enterprise class capabilities to the SMB sector. Today, POS developers in the US can integrate to the Handpoint APIs and SDKs (see dev.handpoint.com) in hours, and have access to not only Handpoint's cool and affordable secure card readers, but also Handpoint's PCI-DSS gateway, pre-certified out-of-scope EMV+MSR+NFC (including Apple PayTM) payments, and global processing capabilities.
"It is typical to hear the non-experienced payment providers say that EMV only adds a few additional fields to a traditional payment message, so it can't be that much more complicated. But those players are in for a big surprise." Relative to today's magnetic stripe payments environment, EMV requires a completely different design of payment processes (especially for integrated point-of-sale systems). The development time is often measured in years, and the certification and integration path for inexperienced teams takes another 10 months on average. Furthermore, being EMV-ready does not eliminate the need to comply with PCI security requirements.