Visa: New Technology for Chip Cards To Speed Checkout Times

Visa is upgrading its software to process chip-embedded credit and debit cards to function faster -- addressing a source of grumbling from businesses and customers who are often forced to wait for transactions to go through.

The company said Tuesday that its program -- Quick Chip for EMV -- will let customers dip and remove cards, usually in two seconds or less, without waiting for purchases to be finalized.

Though the wait can be just seconds, in today's economy of swipes and scans, the cards have been a nuisance for high traffic retailers, for example, a coffee shop during the morning rush.

"While chip cards have been adopted and generally accepted by customers, there have been some complaints the chip transactions take longer," said Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of risk products at Visa.

Visa said the upgrade will be rolled over the next six months. While it is being announced for Visa debit and credit cards only, the technology is not exclusive to Visa and could be adopted by MasterCard and American Express cards as well.

Chip cards have been used for years in Europe and many other parts of the world, making the U.S. a relatively late adopter.

Analysts say that's the main reason that roughly half of all global credit card fraud occurs in the U.S., even though the country makes up only about a quarter of all credit card transactions, according to a report by Barclays last year.

The credit card industry set a deadline of Oct. 1, 2015 for banks to issue chip-enabled cards and retailers to install and activate new terminals capable of processing chip transactions.

After that date, liability for fraudulent transactions shifted to whichever party in a transaction hadn't upgraded to the new technology. Before that, the costs always fell on the banks.

Despite that, not all retailers have been quick to...

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