Transitioning to Chip-and-Signature Cards: Skepticism & Continued Risks

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In an effort to curb large-scale data breaches and incidences of credit card fraud, card issuers in the United States continue to roll out new EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip-card technology.

With the U.S. not fully adopting the chip-and-PIN technology used in other countries, consumers remain skeptical that the new chip-and-signature technology used in the U.S. will deliver adequate fraud protection.

To help financial institutions tap into consumers’ input and reactions about EMV technology, Cision aggregated tens of thousands of English-language social media posts from key forums, blogs and social networks between November 2014 and May 2015.

We analyzed the conversations and developed a study that looks at several key categories: roll-out and use of the technology; continued fraud concerns; and interest in mobile payment technology.

In particular, skepticism about chip-and-PIN technology and continued security risks created heavy consumer conversation. Here’s a look at the concerns that are top-of-mind for consumers:

1. Continued Vulnerability

As the U.S. catches up with international card payment security measures, many U.S. consumers are frustrated with the decision to go with chip-and-signature security measures. New technology would help to decrease card-present fraud, but consumers worry it does little to limit card-not-present fraud. And, of course, EMV cards lack solid protection against online fraud.

Want to learn more about how EMV impacts financial brands? Check out our latest white paper today!

2. Not the Global Standard


Outside the U.S., other countries utilize the chip-and-PIN system. While U.S. based consumers’ chip-and-signature cards are growing as a valid form of payment in Canada and Europe, travelers going to Asian countries did not experience the same success. Many travelers visiting Asia continue to seek out chip-and-PIN cards to guarantee the acceptance of their payment cards and avoid frustration.

3. Skepticism of New Technology Roll-Out

As consumers receive EMV cards, many are eager to try out the new system. However, most retailers have yet to install updated terminals for the new EMV cards. For retailers who have the new card readers, they often are not using them properly or have yet to train their staff on how they work. New security measures cannot work properly until the technology can be used as intended.

4. An Improvement From Previous Technology

While consumers would like to see additional improvements to card security, they do recognize that new chip-and-signature security is an improvement from previous magnetic-strip swipe technology. Consumers are eager to utilize the new technology to improve their data security and hope companies will explore additional improvements in security. They are also hopeful that mobile-wallet payment can provide a safer, easy to use alternative to the new EMV cards.

Savvy communicators and marketers working for card issuers, payment processors and merchants need to work fast and smart to fill the current communication vacuum surrounding the U.S. chip card roll out.

To find out more about what Cision discovered about EMV, click here!

About Craig Mitchell

Craig Mitchell has more than 20 years of experience in communications on both the agency and corporate sides. He has managed large-scale PR and communications analytics programs for top-tier clients in the financial services, consumer and technology sectors. He currently serves as a vice president in Cision’s Global Insights group.

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