Customer patience to be tested as EMV Joins Apple Pay at cash register

“Credit card companies have been trying for some time to replace the magnetic strips in cards. They started with RFID, but that wasn’t the best idea. RFID chips in credit cards were a dream come true for credit card scammers and hackers,” Curtis Silver writes for Forbes. “So much so that there are products on the market with the specific purpose of blocking malicious RFID scans. Some people still don’t perceive RFID scamming as a threat, but they probably solely use Discover Card for all their purchases. RFID quickly lost favor with retailers and banks in the U.S. due to security flaws; the credit card industry also ditched RFID, opting instead to embrace EMV technology.”

“Tomorrow, retailers (some of which have already upgraded their point-of-sale terminals) will begin to feel the crunch from being behind the curve. EMV technology (Europay, Mastercard and Visa make up the acronym) in credit and debit cards is a strong upgrade from the always vulnerable magnetic strip and the ridiculous RFID idea,” Silver writes. “EMV chips are tiny microprocessors that facilitate conversation between your card and the card reader — but it still requires your pin and cannot be duplicated like a magnetic strip can. If retailers haven’t upgraded their technology — the liability for fraud shifts to them instead of the credit-card issuers. Whomever hasn’t upgraded their technology gets to write off that delicious fraud.”

“The best part for the consumer, aside from the security enhancements with EMV chips, is that the checkout experience is about to become much more exciting. By exciting I mean tedious and terrible,” Silver writes. “EMV cards require the customer to wait until the cashier is done, then hold the card against the terminal for a few seconds. Unlike swiping at any point during the transaction (which we’ve been happily doing for some time now), we have to wait. That’s right, the customer has to exhibit patience. Customer patience is already being tested by a few new payment options that make writing out a check the efficient option. Using the NFC protocol and not requiring retailers participation (they just have to have compatible payment terminals), Apple Pay, Android Pay and now Samsung Pay should incubate a subclass of therapists specializing in comforting cashiers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve never held up a line using Apple Pay. In fact, we’re usually done paying before even the cashier realizes it, much less some schlub behind us in line staring at his crappy Android phone while it reboots who doesn’t even realize he could hold up the rest of the line behind him trying to pay via Google’s or Samsung’s Apple Pay wannabes.

MCX CEO gone a day after Apple Pay lands Best Buy – April 28, 2015
Best Buy capitulates, to accept Apple Pay despite CurrentC allegiance – April 27, 2015
Major retailers see Apple Pay wave – November 17, 2014
In only 3 weeks, Apple Pay is changing how consumers pay – November 17, 2014
Boycott CVS and Rite Aid – October 27, 2014
Bad business: CVS and Rite Aid antagonize their most well-heeled customers by blocking Apple Pay – October 27, 2014
CVS stores reportedly disabling NFC to shut down Apple Pay – October 25, 2014
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010


      1. What I meant was last time I did it, between the time you slide the card in and the cashier press the button and it authorizes, it took about 30 secs. total to complete. A swip takes about 5, but if you try to swipe with a chip card, it tells you to insert it in the chip slot, so more wasted time especially if the merchants don’t indicate whether there chip slots are active or not. Typically I go in and insert the card in the chip slot, they look at me waiting, I ask, is this working, they say that doesnt work, so then you have to swipe. They all need chip slot enabled stickers placed on the POS so we all know from the start.

        1. Am I living on a different planet here because I really can’t get my head around the concept that a swipe card is in some way more efficient and quicker than NFC related solutions when buying goods. It takes a Few seconds, swipe somewhat longer when they work at all.

    1. These concerns seem rather amusing in countries where EMV or Chip & PIN has been the norm for so long that few of us can remember using signatures for authorisation.

      Any delay is caused by the connection to the authorising bank. It will be exactly the same if the transaction is done by an Apple Watch or ENV. If the connection and authorisation is fast, it’s near instant, if the connection is slow then you have to wait.

      Sales staff will also have to acquire the social habit of pointedly looking away while the customer enters their PIN.

      Leaving the card in the machine shouldn’t be a problem as in other countries, the receipt is only printed once the card has been removed. I assume that it will be the same in the US.

      Customers are always the weak point and some will be unfamiliar at first, but they will rapidly get the hang of it.

      The only thing I hate about it is that using the terminal requires the customer to keep looking at it until it says the transaction is complete, which means you don’t have eye contact with the person you’re dealing with and so it seems rather unfriendly. It’s only a small thing, but it’s the sort of detail that if Apple had designed the process, they would have addressed.

  1. a.) The new EMV cards do not “require your PIN”. Those are the European cards. We’re still just using signatures over here. The US EMV solution only protects against counterfeit cards, not stolen cards.

    b.) The customer does not have to “hold the card against the terminal for a few seconds”. There is a slot to stick the card in that will retain the card until the transaction is done.

    I really don’t think this guy knows how EMV works.


    1. Yes, we use signatures; and rarely, if ever, does a sales clerk even glance at the signature on the back of the card. If I were using a stolen credit card, mimicking the owner’s signature well enough to escape detection would be a piece of cake.

  2. EMV works quickly and without pain. I don’t understand this 30 second thing. That’s a processor problem, not the chip’s.

    Procedures dictating when the card needs to be “approved” has nothing to do with the chips either. Gas stations capture the card information prior to starting to pub gas.

    These are all red herrings.

    Get on with it, Americans. Catch up with the 21st century!!

    1. Slow for me. Pain actually. I have to slide my card up in a slot that I can see. I have to kneel down to see the slot. Then it takes about 15 to 30 secs for it to be approved.

      Can’t wait for Apple Pay to be accepted everywhere.

  3. …the ridiculous RFID idea

    It’s gratifying to FINALLY see this pointed out in the general press. This fact has been known since the beginning of the first generation of RFID cards, but shockingly suppressed and denied all these years.

    If your RFID card requires a Faraday cage (a foil pouch) in order to avoid being scanned and ripped off by any passing granny with a scanner, you have the CRAP first generation of RFID cards. GET RID OF IT as soon as possible. DEMAND that the card carrier get rid of it and upgrade to RFID generation 2 which does NOT dump the user’s card # identity data every time it is scanned.

    Generation 2 RFID cards do NOT need a Faraday cage for protection and do NOT dump ANY user data ever. Instead, they create and broadcast only an one-time ID that can be used for one, single purchase, mitigating the potential damage done.


  4. In the rest of the world, where this is already in use for some years, you just pop your card against the reader, get four green lights, pick up your items and receipt and walk away. No signing on pads or anything else. In Australia, credit card providers have done away with signatures as they found no one checked them at point of sale in most cases. Using this tech is just like ApplePay though you do wait for the end of the transaction by the cashier but we have an abundance of self checkout queues here now for every the of store including hardware so you’re in and out and gone whilst the checkout chick is still scanning the items at the next checkout. These cards are more secure than mag stripe. I have never had this type of card skimmed anywhere in the world except in the USA when travelling and forced to use the stripe swipe. Evidence that’s good enough for me. Couldn’t come sooner for my liking.

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