Cutting Down on Credit Card Wait Times

Chip cards cause frustration for shoppers

It's a common frustration for shoppers...

"I can't swipe my card until they tell me."

"It's annoying when people are in a hurry." 

The price for security is about 10 to 20 seconds for people using the new chip-embedded credit cards. Those cards are nearly impossible for scam artists to copy, but the same cards also take longer to use at the check-out line.

"It doesn't sound like a lot of time," said San Diego State marketing professor George Belch, "but it is very significant.

So much so that Walmart has been looking for ways to cut down on the time it take to use a chip card in the store's check-out line. The retail giant says it's been able to shave about 11 seconds off the transaction time.

At the same time, Visa is announcing they've found a way to cut the actually card chip time to about 2 seconds at the register.

"This is a pain point for the consumer," said Belch, "It's an issue for the merchant and getting that time down is a very significant improvement.

Walmart is able to cut down it's transaction time by cutting out one of the questions that come up during the sale. Shoppers won't have to confirm the amount of the transaction.

Visa's new system allows shopper to put their card in the reader at any time during the transaction rather than wait until the end. The Visa announcement says the card only needs to be in the reader for about two seconds.

So while merchants generally agree that the chip-embedded cards are an improvement for security they are working to speed up the shopping process.

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