There are numerous examples of EMV gone awry as the roll out, rolls on. Secure for card-present transactions, yes, seamless, no.
On a bustling pre-holiday evening during a crowded Christmas Stroll, there was no time for merchants to be delayed when it came to payment processing. My colleague attempted to use his new EMV chip-enabled card to make a purchase. An error message popped up on the machine and the clerk responded immediately with an “Oh no, not that error” while reaching for the phone. The automated help line for the card processing machine further exasperated the merchant as a long line quickly formed with patrons eager to spend money in her store. She promptly hung up and decided to do things the old fashioned way—yes, she wrote down the card number on a carbon copy register slip to run it later.
The irony here is that chip cards are supposed to be more secure in card-present situations and yet in this instance the customer’s information, including card number and security code, was now written on a piece of paper. Not only was security compromised, it was inconvenient for the customer.
These hiccups aren’t creating a great customer experience, a must for banks as they respond to a society invested in instant, seamless, easy transactions. EMV is decades old technology, so there is a reason it isn’t meeting today’s consumer demands.
Even though the current implementation of physical chip cards isn’t ideal, the movement seems to be a catalyst for mobile wallet adoption, including contactless EMV transactions. Many point-of-sale terminals have NFC technology meaning there is no need to dip a card, enter a pin, or capture a signature—yet all of the security benefits of EMV are available. Perhaps there is hope for payments that provide both added security and ease of use.
What do our readers have to say? Please share the good, the bad, and the ugly of your EMV experiences and where you think the industry will go from here.