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EMV cards slow down sales

Published: November 18, 2015
EMV cards, also known as chip cards, are increasing customer wait times at check-outs. Since October, retailers without EMV card readers are responsible for fraudulent payments that take place in their stores. Even though many stores, including Wal-Mart, have made the switch, customers are still experiencing a learning curve.

Unlike the swiping motion that comes with traditional credit and debit cards, EMV cards require customers to push their cards into a slot and leave them there until the card has been verified and the transaction has gone through.

In a survey of 5,000 consumers by Harbortouch, a provider of touch-screen point-of-sale systems, one in five respondents said they consider transaction time their top concern when using an EMV-enabled credit or debit card. EMV transactions take 10 to 90 seconds to be processed, far longer than the three seconds for traditional swipe-card transactions.

“While seemingly small, during busy times like the holidays, these increased processing times could add up quickly," said Jared Isaacman, founder & CEO of Harbortouch. "It’s possible we’ll see longer check-out lines or even cart abandonment by those unwilling to wait. Retailers could feel the pinch from lower in-store holiday sales or customers turning to their mobile devices to shop.”