Visa and MasterCard Offer Faster EMV

canstockphoto2460434People called, and MasterCard and Visa answered. In the past week, both card networks announced updates to their point-of-sale systems that promise to reduce the time it takes to use an EMV chip-enabled card at the checkout line.

Cue cheering crowds.

Visa released its new technology, dubbed Quick Chip, last week, claiming it will cut the time it takes to pay using a chip-enabled card to two seconds. “Quick Chip allows your customers to remove their card from payment terminals before the transaction amount is finalized or before the authorization response has been received,” the company said.

MasterCard announced of a similar solution – M/Chip Fast – on Thursday. “Our solution brings some of the principles successfully implemented for contactless cards and mobile wallets around the world to point-of-sale terminals,” according to a company blog post.

Since merchants became liable for fraud that occurs when EMV-enabled cards are treated as magstripe cards during a transaction, many began accepting chip cards. But the time it took to authorize the cards caused frustration among merchants and customers.

Visa said it made adopting the new solution easy on merchants:

The Quick Chip solution only requires a software download. It does not require any changes to standard EMV processing or to the chip card. No additional Visa or EMVCo testing or certification is required, and there is no impact to routing, your merchant bank, the network, or the card issuer.

How much time will this new technology really save in a store? “Probably not much,” said Madeline Aufseeser, chief executive officer at Tender Armor LLC,  which offers fraud protection tools for card-not-present transactions. “With the current authorization process, you can’t take your chip card out until the authorization is complete, which creates a perception that it’s time-consuming. What Visa and MasterCard have done is remove that perception, where customers will be able to put their card quickly back into their wallets, but they’ll still be there until the authorization is complete.”

“Of more concern, however, is how fast it will take merchants to jump aboard with the new technology,” Aufseeser told Bank Innovation. “Even though MasterCard and Visa might enable it, merchants will need to deal with their banks, who’ll need to make solutions available,” she said. “And we don’t know how much time that will take.”

In any case, Aufseeser expects Discover and American Express to announce of a similar technology soon, “if they haven’t yet,” she said.

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