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Survey: Consumers prefer traditional payment cards


Shoppers may be using EMV-compliant, chip-enabled payment cards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they like them.

Business research firm Field Agent recently conducted an audit of 100 chip processing systems at leading retailers Costco, CVS Health, Home Depot, Kroger, Lowes, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. It also undertook a survey of 300 consumers who use chip cards. In the survey, only 37% of the respondents reported a preference for EMV cards over the swiping variety; 63% said they would rather swipe a card than insert a chip card.

Uneven adoption among retailers (some have the technology, others do not) and slower processing times compared to the traditional swipe-and-sign system were cited by respondents as the top complaint regarding chip-enabled cards.

The survey found that it takes shoppers, on average, 16 seconds to run chip cards (the fastest processing time was at Walgreens, where it took 12.03 seconds). Interestingly, 43% of auditors said this was faster than expected, while 23% said it was longer.

Field Agent noted that shoppers who acknowledge the added security of the chip card are more likely to have a positive attitude toward the new system.

"Thus, retailers might consider improving the shopper experience by taking small steps to educate patrons on the purpose — that is, the why — behind the move to EMV cards: greater security for shoppers,” the company advised.

In other Field Agent findings:

• Forty-one percent of all respondents said chip card payments generally seem fast, and 41% said they generally seem slow;

• Ninety percent of respondents said checkout clerks seem at least somewhat familiar with processing chip card transactions.

To see the full report, click here.

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