PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., April 7, 2021 – The U.S. Payments Forum today released its latest Market Snapshot providing a look at the state of the industry, including the accelerated shift to touchless payments and e-commerce, the long-term impact on payments technology due to COVID-19, the transition to EMV® at the pump, and current Forum priorities and projects.
State of the Market: Impact of COVID-19 on E-commerce, and the Petroleum EMV Liability Shift
Many consumers have shown preference for e-commerce over the past year in response to COVID-19. As a result, retailers have worked to enhance online shopping and payment experiences and the technology to secure against e-commerce fraud.
Accertify observed that while the overall number of data breaches were down last year, according to privacyrights.org, the total number of records breached were up 50-60%. Large contributors to these breaches were social engineering schemes such as phishing and smishing, often motivated by government stimulus checks and other financial targets.
With synthetic identity fraud on the rise, the industry is looking to stronger authentication measures to improve identity validation at time of account opening and to techniques like EMV 3DS and tokenization to improve authentication and security during transactions. Artificial Intelligence has also seen increased interest for seamless security, as it can identify fraudulent online transactions based on predictive pattern matching.
The EMV[i] liability shift for the petroleum industry is less than a month away, and petroleum retailers have undergone major adjustments to enable EMV at the fuel pump. Mastercard reported 33% of transactions at the pump are now EMV. Though fuel stations are still facing migration challenges, this progress is expected to continue. The Forum has provided several resources on the topic, which are available on the Forum website, and will continue to develop guidance to support this transition.
Trending Topic: Touchless Technology and Long-lasting Impacts Post-COVID
COVID-19 accelerated touchless experiences and digitization for businesses, and the technologies that emerged to support these needs are expected to leave a lasting impact. Contactless payments have seen a major rise in acceptance, with one major retailer sharing that they saw contactless use rise from 1 to 2% to around 15%. Transit has been a major driver for contactless growth. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City recently shared the fare payment system has recorded 50 million taps since the platform rolled out in May 2019, and the rate of taps-per-day is also reaching new highs. MTA reported a record number of OMNY taps in one day in March 2021 with 339,000 taps.
Consumer payment habits have changed as they have grown comfortable with contactless payments, and many prefer it. According to the Visa Back to Business Study, two-thirds (65%) of global consumers surveyed would prefer to use contactless payments as much as, or more than, they are currently. Even when the vaccine is widely available, three in four of small to medium businesses expect consumers to continue to favor contactless payments.
But even with these changes, education is still a priority for the Forum as many consumers may not know they can tap their card or device. In an American Express survey shared at the meeting, 34% of U.S. consumers surveyed did not know if a card was contactless capable, 29% of people said they did not know how to use a contactless capable card, and 28% did not know where to use one. The Forum has published a number of educational resources for contactless including GetContactless.com and the U.S. Payments Forum’s Consumer Experience at the Contactless Point-of-Sale white paper.
Merchants of all sizes have worked to prioritize new payment and delivery methods to meet customer expectations. Methods in the omni-channel space, like Buy-Online-Pickup-in-Store (BOPIS), curbside, and delivery and have seen successful adoption across retail. QR codes and payment through mobile apps have also become more widely accepted, and customers will continue expect all of these options post-pandemic.
Forum Priorities: Solving Cross-Industry Issues
With over 360 registrations, this was the first Forum Virtual Member Meeting led by Director Jason Bohrer, who was appointed to the position in December 2020. Members attended a successful networking session during the event to get to know Bohrer and further develop the goals for the Forum in the year ahead.
The Forum meeting also focused on new cross-industry implementation topics to contribute education and technical guidance; topics included the implications of the use of eight-digit bank identification numbers (BINs) across the ecosystem, PAR implementation, mobile driver’s license (mDL) implementation and others.
The Forum has numerous EMV and emerging technology-related education projects currently underway, including:
- A resource on device authentication and cardholder verification techniques for mobile in-app and remote payments
- A mini-series of educational resources on trending topics related to fraud
- An educational resource on EMV 3DS outlining the data fields that are deemed most useful for mitigating fraud for merchants and issuers
- A white paper on debit routing and tokenization with card-on-file transactions
- A resource providing best practices for contactless acceptance at the point of sale
- A resource providing transit industry guidance for processing aggregated contactless open payments transactions
- A resource on cardholder verification method (CVM) choice at unattended terminals
- A white paper on fleet card acceptance at fuel pumps
- A project documenting retailer and financial institution use cases for mobile driver’s licenses
The U.S. Payments Forum published the following resources over the past quarter:
- Intake Form Terminology for EMV Level 3 POS Certification, a resource providing common definitions of terms used in Level 3 certification intake forms
- Common Intake Form Questionnaire and Terminology for EMV Level 3 POS Certification, a white paper providing recommendations to enhance the understanding of common EMV terminology used in certification intake forms [members only]
- Payments Resource Brief: Data Integrity Fraud, the first resource published on trending fraud topics by the Forum Card-Not-Present (CNP) Fraud Working Committee [members only]
Organizations, associations, government agencies and individuals interested in participating in upcoming projects and initiatives can visit the Forum website to learn about how to become a member. For membership levels, benefits and the application, visit
About the U.S. Payments Forum
The U.S. Payments Forum is a cross-industry body focused on supporting the introduction and implementation of new and emerging technologies that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S. The Forum is the only non-profit organization whose membership includes the whole payments ecosystem, ensuring that all stakeholders have the opportunity to coordinate, cooperate on, and have a voice in the future of the U.S. payments industry.
[i] EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.