‘Quick Chip’ Upgrade to Shorten Checkout Time

No, Quick Chip is not the newest fast food snack treat to hit the market, but it is related to dip, sort of.

Quick Chip for EMV®, a technology enhancement that optimizes chip card processing and speeds up checkout times, has been announced by Visa®. Available for free to payment processors, acquiring banks and other payment networks to offer to merchants, the upgrade allows customers to dip and remove their EMV card from the terminal without waiting for the transaction to be finalized. Visa claims that the time involved would typically be two seconds or less.

“Visa is advancing a streamlined approach to chip transactions to make them faster and more efficient, while still providing a safe and secure experience,” said Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of Risk Products and Business Intelligence, Visa Inc., in a prepared statement. “Quick Chip for EMV helps make the checkout experience comparable to the ease and speed of magnetic stripe transactions.”

The Quick Chip enhancement requires only a simple software update to the merchant’s card terminal or point-of-sale system; no changes to chip cards are needed. Visa says the key benefits of the upgrade include:

  • Faster checkouts because Quick Chip-enhanced terminals will prompt the cardholder to dip the chip card briefly in the reader and then remove it, reducing the card’s interaction with the terminal.

  • Streamlined processing since the payment card can be inserted and removed while the shopping cart is still being rung up.

  • Simple implementation through a payment application software update that can be downloaded directly to the payment terminal.

The Quick Chip technology works with all cardholder verification methods, including signature and PIN, and does not require the merchant to make any changes to its routing or transaction handling. Perhaps best of all, Quick Chip does not require additional Visa or EMVCo testing if a merchant’s checkout system has already been certified as EMV chip compliant.

Quick Chip appears to be garnering support from various segments of the payment processing industry, including merchant processors, terminal providers and vendors. “We’re very excited to pilot this game-changing approach to EMV chip processing,” said Craig Ludwig, Group Executive of Product for TSYS’ Merchant Services segment as part of Visa’s prepared statement. “Quick Chip improves the consumer experience, without impacting transaction processing or routing on the acquirer or issuer side.”

This new development may help to alleviate consumers’ complaints that chip card transactions take longer at the point of sale than mag stripe transactions. A recent survey reveals that 70 percent of consumers now have chip cards, although many are unable to use them because retailer acceptance has lagged far behind the pace at which card issuers have sent out the cards.

More than one million merchants reportedly now have chip-enabled terminals, or roughly 20 percent of all merchant locations. Visa advises that merchants interested in implementing Quick Chip should contact their payment processor or acquiring bank.

EMV is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCo LLC in the United States and other countries.

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