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EMV Migration May Lead Customers to Switch from Cards to Mobile Payments, Study Finds

In a new survey by ACI Worldwide nearly half of the respondents said that consumers will swap their plastic cards for mobile payments because of the migration to EMV.

A surprising number of those in the payments industry think that the implementation of EMV in the U.S. will cause consumers to ditch their plastic cards in favor of mobile payments, a survey released today by ACI Worldwide suggests. The survey, taken at the 2013 ACI AMericas Exchange conference earlier this month, found that nearly half (49%) of the respondents from the payments industry said that customers switch to mobile payments from physical cards after EMV implementation.

“It was interesting, and frankly a bit surprising, to see data that so strongly indicates a belief that consumers will move away from physical cards in lieu of mobile,” Dan Heimann, a consulting manager at ACI Worldwide and vice chairman of the EMV steering committee for the EMV migration forum, said in a statement. “Given these findings, I’m more intrigued than ever to watch the rollout and adoption rates for EMV cards.”

[See Related: EMV Implementation: Who Is Ready?]

The survey results also demonstrated the barriers that industry professionals see to EMV implementation in the U.S. Almost a third (32%) of the respondents said rolling out new hardware such as point of sale terminals and ATMs would be the biggest challenge to EMV migration. Another 26% said the biggest challenge would be educating businesses and consumers and raising awareness about EMV, while 24% said the biggest challenge would be meeting compliance and the liability shift deadlines.

When asked what trend will have the biggest impact on the banking and retail industries in the next 6-12 months, increased use of mobile banking garnered the biggest share of the vote with 19%. The second biggest share of the vote (15%) went to the adoption of uniform EMV standards that could help speed the migration to EMV.

The survey results also showed that few expect to see mass adoption of mobile wallets in the next two years. Only 10% of the respondents said that mobile wallets is most likely to be adopted over the next two years, falling behind mobile banking (35%), mobile payments (27%), EMV chip-based cards (14%) and online and mobile bill pay services (13%).

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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