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Migrating to EMV: The (Not So) Final Countdown


U.S. migration to EMV slows as the October liability shift looms

Updated Mercator Advisory Group projections indicate a slower than expected transition to EMV due to unanticipated complexities

With the long-awaited fraud liability shift just around the corner, the entire U.S. payments industry is actively (if not enthusiastically) preparing for the transition to EMV. While that preparation will yield a more robust and secure payments infrastructure in the long run, progress toward EMV compliance has slowed in 2015 as issuers and merchants deal with a range of technical, logistical, and educational challenges.

Mercator Advisory Group’s research note, Migrating to EMV: The (Not So) Final Countdown, provides an updated outlook for EMV credit card issuance and point-of-sale (POS) reterminalization as well as an overview of the trends and challenges currently constraining the U.S. migration to EMV.

“The move to EMV is a beneficial thing for the U.S. payments industry, but credit card issuers and merchants are struggling to reach full compliance before the fraud liability shift in October,” comments Alex Johnson, Senior Analyst at Mercator Advisory Group and the author of the note. “We need to prepare ourselves for a longer and messier transition than many originally anticipated.”

This research note contains 11 pages and 4 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this note include: American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Discover, Google, JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Samsung, Target, Visa, Walmart, and Wells Fargo.


Highlights of this research note include:

  • Updated estimates for the reissuance of credit cards and reterminalization of merchants’ payment systems in support of EMV

  • Analysis of the factors preventing many merchants and issuers from enabling EMV transactions before the October 2015 liability shift 

  • Overview of current consumer awareness of and satisfaction with EMV

  • Explanation of the distinctions between different size merchants that influence EMV-enablement strategies

  • Guidance on the long-term implications of the EMV migration on the adoption of mobile payments and point-to-point encryption technologies