Like a Hollywood star making the rounds before a premier movie date, Visa and other organizations are going on tour to promote EMV-chip card technology ahead of the October deadline set for U.S. companies.

Visa launched its 20-city tour March 13 in Austin, Texas to educate small businesses and consumers about the EMV technology and the shift in fraud liability they face if they do not upgrade their terminals.

Visa will next bring its education tour to Orlando, Fla., on April 3, with other stops to be announced in the near future. The card brand will complement the in-person events with a series of EMV webinars on its site.

As an independent trainer and EMV technology company with experience in Europe, the SCIL-EMV Academy has also performed EMV training sessions throughout the U.S. The organization has at least two workshops scheduled most months into early December.

SCIL has also been pushing its QuickStart EMV platform, a series of plug-in modules that allow parts of a payment or card issuing system to upgrade to EMV without requiring full replacement of legacy technology.

Other training efforts have been organized through the card networks and the EMV Migration Forum or SmartCard Alliance, either in formal work group settings or at conferences and special events.

Visa says its education tour targeting small businesses and consumers is critical in light of a recent Aite Group report that revealed a third of small merchants had not even heard of EMV.

Aite Group surveyed 415 managers of retail firms of various sizes, based on revenue, in September and October of 2014. The research also included 25 interviews with large retailers, merchant acquirers, processors, payment providers and terminal manufacturers.

Recent Javelin Strategy & Research studies have pointed to the need for a concerted EMV educational effort, saying the U.S. lacks a cohesive training program.

"Visa is supporting merchants and consumers through education to ensure a seamless transition to this new technology," Ramon Martin, head of global merchant sales and solutions at Visa, stated in a March 13 press release.

Visa understands that time is a valuable resource to small-business owners and designed its Small Business Chip Education Tour to bring "the most critical information on chip technology to merchants directly," Martin added.

The EMV chip-based technology is a payments standard in most other parts of the world. The U.S. is adopting the technology in an effort to stop counterfeit card fraud.

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