Longer Lines, Confusion to Accompany EMV Credit Cards

Longer Lines, Confusion to Accompany EMV Credit Cards

There is going to be a slight learning curve as US consumers adapt to EMV credit cards. It is going to result in longer wait times at the point-of-sale. It is also going to cause a degree of confusion and frustration among consumers – and a good deal of patience is going to be required.

Consumers Need to Be Patient

A few minutes of observation at any retailer’s checkout line will tell the story of what we can expect in the next 6-12 months as US consumers begin to use EMV credit cards. On a personal level, I saw it twice last week on different visits to a well-known, nationwide retailer. To the retailer’s credit, its staff is well-informed in helping consumers use the cards.

At the soda counter, a young woman was paying with her new EMV card. Understandably, she needed to be told where to insert the card, then did so in-and-out very quickly, like she would at an ATM or gas station. The customer service representative was quick to point out that she needed to leave her card in the slot to be read. She did so, then removed too quickly again. After a few seconds and some coaching, however, the transaction was complete.

Nearly the exact scenario played out on my next visit, this time an older gentleman at the point of sale with the same issues as the woman at the soda counter: Trouble finding where to insert his card, inserting and removing too quickly twice, then, with coaching, finally getting it right.

Imagine if this was the holiday shopping season.

The One Thing Retailers and Card Associations Should be Ready For

US consumers are used to swiping, not inserting and waiting for the completion for the transaction to remove their EMV credit cards. Therefore, there is expected to be a rash of consumers who will leave the point of sale without their cards. As a result, card associations and retailers should brace themselves for an increase in frantic phone calls regarding lost card claims.

Plenty of EMV Credit Card Resources Available

Though predominantly a merchant services provider to e-commerce businesses, Instabill offers credit card processing to point-of-sale businesses as well – and we want them to be ready for the Oct. 1 EMV liability shift deadline. To inquire about our merchant services for point-of-sale businesses, speak with a live customer support representative at 1-800-318-2713.

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