Austin Public Transit Not Onboard with EMV
In perhaps one of the most dramatic instances of resistance to EMV since the technology began rolling out more than a year ago, Austin, Texas, public transit plans to stop accepting payment card purchases at vending machines at its nine commuter rail stations, rather than upgrade to EMV-compatible machines.
Austin’s Capital Metro opted to stop accepting cards at its 20 machines rather than paying the estimated $5 million in hardware upgrade and other compliance costs. The ticketing machines’ card readers will be phased out starting Oct. 9 and all will be removed by Oct. 23, according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman. The vending machines will continue to accept cash payments and commuters can still pay with contactless stored value cards, Capital Metro’s smartphone app, online or at retail locations that sell tickets.
There have been multiple problems with the rollout of EMV-equipped cards and POS systems since the payment networks’ fraud liability shift took effect on Oct. 1, 2015—given that almost 75 percent of all merchants have yet to accept EMV. Two major POS terminal manufacturers in September reported a bottleneck in rolling out EMV-compatible machines for quarterly revenue declines, and a study by Discover released in August revealed a “slower-than-anticipated” pace of merchant EMV adoption. Unattended machines—such as those at ticket kiosks and gas pumps—are particularly expensive to upgrade because they require prompts to guide the customer through the process of paying with EMV-equipped cards.