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Three Solutions to Speed Up EMV Transactions

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J. — The U.S. Payments Forum issued a new white paper that provides information for retailers and consumers, including outlining three ways EMV transaction speeds can improve.

Titled “Optimizing Transaction Speed at the POS,” the document states that there is a significant disparity in the processing time of EMV transactions, ranging from as little as two seconds to more than 20 seconds, depending upon the retailer. 

The white paper details three general solutions for stakeholders to consider when attempting to improve transaction times at the point-of-sale (POS). These three approaches are based on best practices from chip migrations in many other large countries, best practices from the U.S. migration, and a new capability to improve the POS experience in response to this issue in the U.S., according to the U.S. Payments Forum.

For each approach, a detailed description and analysis are presented, including considerations and implications for various stakeholder groups:

1. Faster EMV Solutions. The white paper uses “faster EMV” as an umbrella term to describe the optimized, online-only EMV transaction processing solutions announced separately by American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. These solutions retain the security features of EMV, while removing dependencies that can negatively impact the cardholder perception of transaction time.

2. Contactless/NFC Transactions. Enabling EMV POS terminals to allow contactless/NFC mobile transactions in the United States can greatly improve the cardholder experience. Cardholders benefit from being able to tap and quickly put away the contactless-enabled payment device. Merchants and cardholders benefit from both perceived and actual reduced transaction time compared to contact methods.

3. EMV Checkout Optimization. There are various techniques that convenience store retailers and card issuers can implement to help optimize the chip checkout experience, arising from both new learnings in implementing EMV and from traditional approaches to optimizing checkout throughput.

“The first phase of the chip migration was focused primarily on getting up and running with chip card acceptance to reduce in-store fraud. Now, merchants can consider additional steps to optimize chip transaction speeds to provide a better consumer payment experience and better throughput for merchants,” said Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum. “This white paper is a primer for different optional techniques that may be used to speed the chip transaction process at the POS, and provides a starting point for stakeholders interested in pursuing one or more of the approaches.”

EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally created the security standard. Under EMV liability shift deadlines, c-store retailers needed to upgrade their POS to EMV-ready readers by Oct. 1, 2015; at the ATM on Oct. 1 of this year; and at the forecourt by Oct. 1, 2017 in order to avoid being held financially responsible for fraudulent transactions.

Princeton Junction-based U.S. Payments Forum, formerly the EMV Migration Forum, is a cross-industry body focused on supporting the introduction and implementation of new and emerging technologies that protect the security of, and enhance opportunities for payment transactions within the U.S.

The white paper can be downloaded here.

For more information about EMV, check out the October issue of Convenience Store News.

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