Israel's move toward smart payment terminals passes milestone

By July 31, 2021, transactions at all businesses, other than exceptional cases, will only be possible via the EMV standard.

Statistics on the implementation of smart payment terminals in Israel. (photo credit: BANK OF ISRAEL)
Statistics on the implementation of smart payment terminals in Israel.
(photo credit: BANK OF ISRAEL)
Israel’s movement toward smart payment terminals has passed its first milestone in a plan set out by the Bank of Israel.
At the end of January, smart terminals made up 54% of all payment terminals and were used for about 23% of all transactions, the central bank said, based on data from credit-card clearinghouse Shva. About 67% of the smart transactions are contactless, whether by credit card or smartphone, it said in a press release.
The number of smart terminals and smart transactions are expected to increase with the end of lockdown and renewal of commercial activity, the central bank said.

Statistics on the implementation of smart payment terminals in Israel. (Credit: Bank of Israel)Statistics on the implementation of smart payment terminals in Israel. (Credit: Bank of Israel)
Merchants are being urged to complete the switch to the advanced EMV smart payment protocol. Apart from exceptional cases, all businesses transactions will only be possible via the EMV standard starting July 31, the Bank of Israel said.
 A program launched by the Economy Ministry’s Small and Medium Business Administration and the Finance Ministry makes it possible for small businesses to recoup up to 80% of the setup fees.
EMV technology has a number of benefits, the Bank of Israel said. The payment terminal can be set to face customers, who can carry out the payment on their own, and contactless payments can be made using credit cards, digital wallets, wearable technologies and various payment applications.
“The framework that the Bank of Israel is leading to shift payment-card activity in Israel to EMV is in line with advanced economies worldwide and makes new and innovative value proposals in Israel possible,” said Oded Salomy, director of the central bank’s Payment and Settlement Systems Department.
“We already see several digital wallets that have begun to operate in Israel in recent months, and a number of additional entities, domestic and international, are expected to enter this field in Israel this year,” he said. “The Bank of Israel will continue to promote the use of advanced means of payment in Israel for the benefit of businesses and customers.”