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Anyone working with customers in the US knows first-hand that this is going to a completely different EMV migration compared to any other market. Many reasons are cited: the incredible number of players in the market, the sheer volume of estimated certifications, the parallel shadow of switch migrations, and the ‘debit' problem. However, there’s one more critical aspect that I suspect is overlooked. And that’s social media. When the UK migrated to EMV, there was no Twitter or LinkedIn. But times have changed - and not only do we now live in an age of social media but its use is increasingly pervasive. In every walk of life, global events are being deeply transformed by the presence of social channels providing instant feedback. Each time there's a new event, social media is becoming more ingrained and more influential. Look at the last Olympics, the Superbowl, the US elections. And it's not just global events of course. More and more we use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for communicating and finding out information about product services and new technologies. The key point here is that the US will be the largest EMV migration to take place in the age of social media. And that creates a new dynamic that the industry needs to take into consideration. The Internet and social channels mean you can find some really great information about services or products, faster than was ever dreamed possible. But this also means there’s also simply more information available - and not all of it of high quality. Now that everyone has a voice, and their own opinion, it’s harder to sort through the noise and get to the right information. With new EMV conversations sprouting up at an unprecedented rate across all sorts of forums and channels, I am coming across increasing amounts of misinformation. I could reference dozens of LinkedIn posts of people talking about EMV in the US who are not even involved in anything in the US market. The result is confusion and a lack of clarity. And, by the way, the problem will only get worse as EMV implementations roll-out and issues are encountered in the production environment. With any noise of failure reverberating more loudly and quickly through the market, thanks to the amplification of the social media machine, it’s going to be more important than ever to go to market with a well-tested solution. But that’s another day’s blog. But what does this all mean and how do we address it? The first step is awareness of what’s happening and to pay more attention to the provenance of a particular piece of information. Is the original source credible? For our part, we are working to combat misinformation in the market. Acquirer Systems has been active in the test and certification committee within the EMV migration forum. Towards the end of the month this committee will be releasing a white paper through the EMF that will address the testing and certification needs for the US with all the brands. This white paper has had a mass of input from the Payment brands, acquirers, issuers and suppliers, including the team at Acquirer Systems. This white paper will bring clarity and a great reference point for everyone looking at testing needs and requirements for the US. Of course it will not answer every question but hopefully it will provide a great basis for the US market to clear up some of the questions in the market! My advice is, if you are looking for information on EMV look for people who are active in this space in the US and can be referenced. Look to the EMV migration forum that has all the major payment brands, debit networks, acquirers, issuers and suppliers as members.