Seventy percent of credit card users are now using EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip technology, and many are curious about why it takes so long to complete ordinarily quick transactions. Well, things are about to change. Recently, both MasterCard and Visa have come out with their own ways to speed up this process that currently takes about 10 to 15 seconds compared to the two to three seconds it takes to use a traditional magnetic stripe credit card. This change is much needed after respondents answered unfavorably to surveys on EMV technology. In fact, in a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults, one in five Americans consider transaction times the most important issue while using cards to checkout.
With the majority of people noticing the faster swiping times and caring more about speed than safety, these updates will cause a large shift in the amount of consumers that use EMV and the amount of merchants that have EMV-enabled POS (point of sale) devices. Since the liability shift in October of 2015, there has been a steady adoption of EMV-enabled POS devices and EMV cards, but no change in processing speeds, until now.
According to a press release from April 27, MasterCard unveiled the M/Chip Fast that speeds up EMV transactions for shoppers at the checkout. This process works by creating unique codes for each transaction. Once the code is generated, the card can be removed from the reader. Using these M/Chip Fast-enabled terminals will not only decrease the processing time, but will also reduce the cardholder’s perception of a longer wait at checkout. MasterCard hopes to continue to change the consumer’s perception of longer wait times by activating action-oriented forums with the help of industry leaders. This includes the Payments Security Taskforce and the EMV Migration Forum.
Similarly, Visa has also been working towards faster EMV transaction times with their version called the Quick Chip for EMV. This solution speeds up checkout times on chip transactions and optimizes the consumer experience. With Quick Chip, you can remove your card from the payment terminal before the transaction amount is finalized or before the authorization response has been received. This is similar to how magnetic stripe cards have been working for years. This parallel processing is made easy by only requiring a software download to the POS device, but no change to the actual hardware or to consumers’ chip. This means that your small business won’t need anything but a quick and easy update to your terminal. There will also be no impact to routing, your merchant bank, the network, or the card issuer.
While the pilot updates are already out, keep your head up for quicker speeds and the final update. Although you may be waiting for the chip card to process for what seems like an eternity right now, it may just take 2 or 3 seconds in the near future. When the upgrade does come around, make sure to get your hands on this free way to keep your customers satisfied and moving through your lines quickly!
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