Cardholders may have cards with chips in them in their hands, and EMV adoption by merchants may be on the rise, but there’s no doubt about it: EMV transactions take longer at the point of sale.
But maybe not for much longer.
Visa announced today the launch of its Quick Chip for EMV solution, designed to speed up checkout times and make the chip and dip card experience for consumers and merchants as, well, quick as the swipe. This solution is aimed at enabling faster checkout, streamlined processing, and a simple implementation for consumers and merchants.
Stephanie Ericksen, VP Global Risk Products at Visa, tells Karen Webster that the new technology will allow EMV chip card processing to closely replicate what U.S. consumers have become used to with mag stripe cards – which is not only the speed at checkout, but the ability to “dip” the card and put it back in their wallet while the transaction goes forward.
“With Quick Chip, consumers insert their chip card into the terminal, which automatically generates the EMV cryptogram (that secure one-time code) – the card can then be removed from the terminal while the rest of the transaction continues,” Ericksen points out.
For merchants, this means getting consumers through the checkout faster without incorporating additional unwanted friction.
According to Ericksen, the ability for EMV transactions to continue as usual without the card remaining dipped after the creation of the cryptogram is actually already an existing EMV process, but it is just not widely used. With the implementation of Quick Chip, no additional testing or certification is needed from a Visa or EMVCo point of view, there are no changes to the process and the technology is inherently EMV compliant.
"It's a rather simple change to the terminal software and it's something that would allow merchants of any type to be able to speed up their contact chip transactions without major changes." - Stephanie Ericksen, VP Global Risk Products at Visa
"It's a rather simple change to the terminal software and it's something that would allow merchants of any type to be able to speed up their contact chip transactions without major changes," Ericksen explained, noting that the impact for merchants will depend on their middleware provider and what that integration is, but that it’s rather minimal effort needed.
As merchants continue to see increased numbers of EMV transactions go through their system and more consumers are experiencing contact chip, there have been discussions in the industry about another alternative to speeding up transaction times.
The concept of introducing cards with a dual interface – bringing contactless and EMV capabilities onto a single card – is still on the table, but Quick Chip may be able to attain the goal of accelerating checkout a little bit faster (and cheaper) than deploying dual-interface cards.
“The great thing about Quick Chip is that there is no change needed to the card or to the issuer processing. There's also no change to the merchant screens for the cardholder and no additional education and training required for the consumer or for the merchant's sales associates,” she added.
The screen prompts that what consumers currently see on a terminal when an EMV chip card transaction is being processed will be no different once Quick Chip is enabled — they will just happen in a much more rapid succession than in normal contact chip transactions, Ericksen confirmed.
With the ability for a merchant to simply deploy Quick Chip into an upcoming software iteration, it’s expected that the solution is one that could be hitting the streets rather quickly – with the idea that this will be deployed by the all-important holiday shopping season when speed through checkout is critical.
Though Quick Chip is a Visa specification, the door is still open for it to one day become a standard practice for EMV across all the networks. Ericksen said it is up to other industry players to determine exactly how Quick Chip could fit into their strategy and requirement, but that it remains “open for anyone to use and it would work on all Visa cards whether it's a debit card or a credit card.”
“We've been socializing this a lot with partners and clients and also within the EMV migration forum so that all of the participants, including the other payments systems, are aware of what this is and how it works,” she said.