What the EMV Transition Means for NFC Adoption

The October deadline for EMV adoption is getting closer every day. While some are concerned that merchants won’t be ready for this seismic shift, others believe it will lead to greater adoption of the latest payment methods.
 
Consumers and merchants alike have been hesitant to adopt new payment technologies in the past. Visa Cash, for example, was debuted at the 1996 Olympics and featured a chip-embedded card that had near-field communication (NFC) capabilities. While the technology had many benefits for consumers and was faster for merchants, it failed to reach mass adoption because not enough retailers accepted it, so customers couldn’t use it.
 
We are seeing a similar trend today, but it’s on track to have a different outcome. With recent advances such as Apple Pay, Samsung LoopPay and other NFC-powered mobile payment systems, we are seeing an exciting step forward in the payment industry, but a large number of merchants have yet to make the transition. Many have adopted the mindset that they would rather wait to see what kind of impact they will have before making the shift. 
 
IHS Technology reports that two in three phones will come with NFC by 2018. This will likely lead to an increase in the popularity of the payment method, and merchants need to be able to accept it to stay competitive. 
 
And with the mandatory switch to EMV looming, many merchants are now saying to themselves, “Since I’m updating my hardware to accept EMV, I might as well accept NFC and contactless payments as well so all my bases are covered.” Merchants are seeing the EMV transition as an opportunity to update their terminals to take advantage of NFC and contactless-payment technologies too. 
 
Has your business embraced NFC? If not, is there a particular reason? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter at @Apriva.    
 
– Bill Robertson, Director of Core Solutions