Today, All Stores in the US Should Accept Chip-And-PIN Cards. Yeah, Right.

by Sarah Grotta 0

Well, it’s finally here. October 1, 2015 has arrived, the liability shift associated with EMV is now officially in place. Back in 2012, when the liability shift dates were announced, many thought the US market would migrate to Chip and PIN. As the article in Arstechnica reminds us, that’s not the path that most issuer took in the U.S.:

Although it seems laughably stupid to try to protect US credit card users from having to remember four digits (we do it already on debit cards, anyway), big retailers, bankers, POS developers, and everyone in between put lots of effort into making payments as frictionless as possible for shoppers. When you’re checking out at the grocery store and you remember you really wanted a drink right as the receipt is being printed, do you reach over and grab the drink out of the mini fridge and ask the cashier to do a second transaction before you head out? Your answer may depend on how quickly you think you can do it.

Chip cards will already add friction to the checkout experience. Instead of swiping as the cashier is ringing your purchase up, you’ll have to wait for the cashier, dip your card into the reader, and wait for the card to generate the unique number for the transaction. Although the process is hardly arduous, that extra few seconds customers spend fumbling with the terminal could mean lost sales.

The article further supports the idea that the disruption caused by the EMV migration may be the impetus that the mobile payment market needs. The easier payment process offered by the prevailing mobile payment wallets through Near Field Communication (NFC) make cards seem a little less convenient:

…. it’s now or never for mobile payment systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay to gain a following. Historically, using your phone to pay at checkout was a novelty at best, but certainly not easier than swiping a magnetic stripe card. But now at new terminals, sending payment information via a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip could be seen as faster and easier than using a physical card.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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