Come October 1, the concept of EMV credit cards and their accompanying technology changes will become reality. At stake: fraud protection, liability for fraud and a positive customer experience.

The jury is still out as to whether merchants are ready. A February report from Aite research says 46% of merchants interviewed said “they had not yet begun any preparations for EMV acceptance.”1 That number is concerning. For merchants who still are not ready, here are five essential facts and considerations.

1. Acquirers have become EMV Certified with the card networks and are ready to process EMV transactions.

2. Merchants that have deployed the new EMV terminals with PIN entry and contactless support, will have maximized investment and protection against counterfeit (CF), lost and stolen and account data compromise (ADC) at the POS.

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Jeff Stroud is Senior Managing Consultant in Global Payments and Emerging Markets. With 23 years experience in the payment industry including work with acquirers, issuers and payment brands, he recently re-joined Mastercard in the Advisors Group to provide expertise in the US migration to EMV.