Speeding Up EMV

Visa & MasterCard Announce EMV EnhancementsA big complaint merchants hear from cardholders using their EMV chip cards at stores is that they think it’s slow - the transaction takes a long time to process when compared to magstripe. The process of swiping a magstripe card is perceptually faster as the customers swipe their cards and immediately put it back in their purse/wallet as the purchases are totaled, and the terminal works on processing the transaction. However, in an EMV transaction, cardholders insert the chip card and wait patiently as it authenticates the payment. Even though EMV adds only a few seconds more to the transaction, the perceived wait time is much slower from the point of view of the customer as the chip card stays in the terminal longer.

So what can merchants do to improve upon this current EMV experience?

Visa and MasterCard have come up with a quick solution to help merchants streamline the processing of chip cards. A small enhancement from the card brands – Visa’s Quick Chip and MasterCard’s M/Chip Fast help emulate the “magstripe” experience for the cardholder where they can insert their chip cards and remove it in a matter of a few seconds. The enhancement requires only a relatively simple software update to the merchant’s card terminal and point of sale (POS) system.

Being able to make this update using existing EMV chip infrastructure and not requiring re-certification means retailers can integrate this enhancement into their solutions with minimal impact to the POS terminal application.

Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions for MasterCard, said that the solution is similar to what happens in contactless payments both in and outside the US, and allows customers to remove the card from the terminal before the transaction is completed.

While merchants won’t be compelled to take up these technologies, this would be valuable in places such as coffee shops, fast food outlets, and grocery stores where the customer impact will be more evident.

Learn more about Visa’s Quick Chip

Learn more about MasterCard’s M/Chip Fast

Allen Friedman, Vice President of Payment Solutions, Ingenico Group


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