Visa upgrades chip card software to speed up checkout times

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A visa credit card is on display on a table in Berlin The European Union wants to reduce extra fees for payments with credit cards throughout Europe. Photo by: Jörg Carstensen/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

By Bree Fowler and Ken Sweet

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 often are 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.
Although 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 introduced 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 also be adopted by MasterCard and American Express.
Chip cards have been used for years in Europe and many other parts of the world, making the U.S. a relatively late adopter.
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