Despite the fraud benefits that EMV has provided to retailers with terminals on their countertops, there has been one consistent refrain from retailers and their customers alike: It takes too long. Too long for terminals to be tested and certified and too long for consumers to insert their card and wait for the transaction to be approved.
Help has arrived.
Visa announced on Wednesday (Aug. 3) that it has completed the first-ever deployment of its Quick Chip solution meant to cut down on EMV processing and certification time.
Partnering with retail software firm Index and Northern California’s New Leaf Community Markets, Visa now can enable EMV checkout speeds of three seconds or faster and implementation of Quick Chip can be completed in seven days or less.
In an exclusive interview with Karen Webster, Visa VP of Risk Products Stephanie Ericksen explained that, while the first few months of EMV might have been a little rocky, she is confident that Quick Chip’s tweaks to EMV — i.e., allowing consumers to insert cards at any point in the transaction with a more rapid checkout process — will open more opportunities for everyone with a stake in smoother checkouts.
“Not only does this improve the cardholder experience at the point of sale, but we’re also really excited about how quickly merchants moving in the Quick Chip direction will be able to implement EMV,” Ericksen said.
While Quick Chip brings some much-needed progress to the retail world, Index CEO Marc Freed-Finnegan explained that the reduction in processing times will actually come as a welcome relief for consumers who miss the fast swipe-and-go experience of non-EMV cards.
“It’s not only familiar, but it’s also really fast,” Freed-Finnegan told Webster. “You don’t have to wait until the end of the transaction; you can dip any time. In terms of ease of deployment and a familiar and fast customer experience, we’re pretty psyched we were able to bring this first to New Leaf.”
Freed-Finnegan also said that he and his team were able to “turn on” Quick Chip at New Leaf literally one day after testing was done in Index’s lab, a nod to the ease of deployment that Quick Chip provides to solutions providers and merchants alike.
Ericksen said that, while New Leaf is the first commercial deployment of Quick Chip, there are others waiting in the wings. She also expressed her enthusiasm for the Quick Chip solution as a retailer’s “go-to” EMV choice, which she says has the potential to accelerate EMV’s commercial rollout.
“We’re seeing more and more merchants talk about going straight to Quick Chip, which just simplifies and streamlines their development, testing and certification requirements,” she remarked.