A few weeks ago, we chronicled the progression of EMV implementation in the US. In our post, we patted Richard Sanders on the back for predicting the chip-card development path in the US over 8 years before it has come to be a reality.

One interesting note in the story was substantiated in the news last week.

In our post, we mentioned that ATM’s must be ready to accept EMV cards by 2017, about two years behind the deadline for liability shift at merchant point-of-sale. Even though securing merchant POS has advantages tied to fraud reduction, the major card associations are being cautious to accelerate the rollout of Chip and PIN at merchant point-of-sale so as not to push fraud to ATM’s.

During Card Forum this year, Stephanie Ericksen, Head of Authentication Product Integration, VISA INC. shared “the company is not pushing to accelerate the rollout of Chip and PIN at the point-of-sale as we suspect that remaining fraud volumes will run full speed ahead for unprepared ATM machines.

Last week, a gang of cyber criminals perpetrated a $45 Million fraud by hacking their way into prepaid card systems at several banks and extracting their take via ATM machines in 26 countries. The US portion of the scam took place courtesy of ATM’s mostly in the Northeast, giving too much publicity to the ensuing spending spree and clearly illustrating the risk that needs to be addressed via the EMV standard.

I’m not sure to what extent the current implementation plan can be accelerated, but it certainly seems that global criminals are going to make the most of the remaining time window. Electronic theft can’t be entirely washed away by Zero liability policies on cards as commonly offered by the associations. There is a residual emotional and mental impact from these events and repeated instances could send consumers into a fresh wave of negativity, something we don’t need in the US economy today.

Do you think it might be time to put our mobile wallet application development aside in favor of speeding up the protection of our current system of payments?