Officials Address Delays in Chip Card Rollout

Consumer groups met with a White House policy adviser today to discuss the three biggest issues in the retail industry’s transition to chip card readers.

Groups in attendance included the Electronic Transactions Association, Merchant Advisory Group, Consumer Policy Solutions and American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, alongside White House adviser Camille Fischer of the National Economic Council.

All parties agreed that both consumers and retailers have expressed concerns amid the rollout.

One concern: banks haven’t upgraded 600 million credit or debit cards—roughly half of the cards out there. If this trend is consistent with what the United Kingdom faced during its decade-long chip card transition from 2004-2014, consumers can expect fraud to increase significantly during this in-between period.

Retailers have also had issues switching to the new card readers. Most blame the delay on a backlog in the certification process.

The third major complaint comes from consumers who say the new process of inserting the card, rather than swiping it, takes too long.

To that, officials urge shoppers stay patient.

Companies like Visa are working on ways to expedite the process, but in the meantime, experts say the added layer of security is worth the wait.

“When you put the card reader in, it takes a few seconds to register and authenticate,” said Fischer. “And it takes those few seconds because it is actually authenticating, creating an additional security step.”

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