As the EMV migration evolved globally, it was it was interesting to watch the Canadian market embraced contactless chip technology wholeheartedly and the US market decidedly did not. There are a few indications that might be changing. As reported in the American Banker, TCF bank is making the move from contact to contactless chipped debit cards for the express purpose of creating a competitive advantage through an improved cardholder experience at the point of sale:
TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., is adding NFC to all newly issued EMV cards with the promise of quicker checkouts. The goal is to attack the widespread consumer perception that contact-only EMV debit cards take extra seconds to process at the point of sale.
One of the biggest questions about EMV cards in the U.S. has been the issue of speed for the convenience of customers and merchants also looking to make transactions go faster,” said Kevin Miller, senior vice president and director of products, marketing and customer service at TCF. “Our thought was that by issuing contactless debit cards, we could help customers speed up checkouts and it would be one more reason for them to use this card.”
TCF is certainly and early adopter of contactless. One other example is Citi’s Costco card which was rolled out with contactless technology but doesn’t work at Costco as Costco hasn’t installed NFC terminals. Both TCF and Citi Costco cardholders will have to look pretty hard to find merchants where their card can be used in the U.S. Many merchants have the capability, but simply haven’t enabled it due to lack of knowledge of the technology and how it works.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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