Has Visa just made EMV cards way more appealing?

A few weeks ago we covered the ongoing adoption of EMV cards in the US and whether the big obstacles of cost, education and complexity were sufficiently addressed. It looks like this week Visa has released an update that could make using Chip cards in the States way more convenient.

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Visa has released something it calls ‘Quick Chip’, a specification enhancement that allows customers to dip and remove their EMV chip card at checkout in about two seconds or less.

The company says they can even do so before the transaction is complete (while the salesperson is still ringing up the items).

Significantly, it also says this update is ‘free-of-charge’ for payment processors, acquiring banks and other payment networks and only needs software update to the merchant’s terminal or point-of-sale system. Merchants that are already EMV-compliant can be up and running in minimal time as the upgrade requires “no changes” to their routing or transaction handling or additional Visa or EMVCo testing.

Here is the promo video showing the tech in action.

It is interesting to note the why Visa has improved EMV payment process to make it more appealing.

Quick Chip is also meant to facilitate the payment industry’s transition to EMV chip in the U.S. Since the EMV launch in the U.S. last year, 265 million Visa credit and debit chip cards have been issued to cardholders, making the U.S. the largest chip card market in the world. However, roughly 20% of all merchant locations have chip-enabled terminals. With the promise of faster, more secure checkout, transitioning to EMV chip technology becomes much more appealing to merchants across the nation.

The company clearly understands that simply because EMV is new to the US, interest and excitement is not a guarantee. Consumers and merchants need to see they are adding value, especially considering many people still do not actually understand what security and anti-fraud benefits of EMV cards.

Introducing enhancements that bring the EMV process up to contactless levels in terms of speed, is not a bad way of piquing people’s interest.

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