As Black Friday draws closer, brick and mortar retailers are upset about the slow rollout of new credit and debit cards with security chips designed to prevent consumer fraud. The October 1st terminal changeover deadline is creating order delays and uncertainty as merchants are left to wonder if their POS terminals will all be ready in time for the holiday season. Stores already suffer losses to digital retailers as consumers avoid long lines by shopping online, and this year has the potential to make those long lines even longer at cash registers across the country. The silver lining is that from a digital merchant point of view, that may lead even more shoppers to their own point of sale.
New cards are being issued as part of an ongoing battle over the responsibility for fraudulent transactions between card associations and financial companies, and it’s the brick and mortar businesses that are caught in the crossfire. “If they couldn’t get it done before 10/1, I doubt many are going to have the appetite to turn it on between now and the end of the year,” Mark Horwedel, chief executive of the Merchant Advisory Group told The New York Times on behalf of retailers. “This is make-it-or-break-it sales season for the merchant community.”
“We are seeing a spike in online sales, and REI went against the grain closing on Black Friday to get people outside enjoying the holidays” said Eyal of WebsiteSecure.org “There are always winners and losers in every transition, and this changeover to enhance card security will likely make winners out of a lot of online retailers that allow cardless transactions. It seems some in the credit card industry forgot the main reason people use plastic is convenience… and when it becomes inconvenient to use plastic, they will shop somewhere else with less friction to get the same items delivered at home. Bad for BestBuy, great for Amazon.”
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