Survey says: Many are not thrilled with those chip-enable credit and debit card readers at a slew of retail outlets

EMV devices are making many unhappy at the checkout counter
I will have plenty to say about those credit/debit card machines in a bit, but I must write a little bit about this summer. Many of us feel that we pretty much made it through one of the most humid and hottest summers in the Southeastern United States at least in the past three decades. I'm a bit more of a skeptic. As of this writing, I'm not so sure that summer is actually finished. The calendar might say it's over later this month in September 2016, but this is the Atlanta metro area where the heat and humidity overstay their welcome into October on many years. I'm afraid this is one of those years.
In the Southeast U.S., we are receiving a brief semi-respite from summer's wrath on Labor Day weekend 2016 - as Hurricane Hermine makes her trek through the northeastern portion of Florida's panhandle, the southeastern swath of Georgia and up through the Carolinas. Indeed Hurricane Hermine has had little to do with North Georgia, our South Georgia sisters and brothers have been dealing with the weather system's fallout.

As our home and automobile air conditioning units are getting a break, there's no doubt those 'wonder machines' will be cranking back up after Labor Day weekend - as we have plenty of summer left through September and perhaps into October.  About nine years ago when we were hitting exceptional drought conditions, many folks along with the state's then-governor were praying for rain. Believe it or not, we do have drought conditions this year -- albeit nothing like 2007 -- but things got desperate in these here parts almost one decade ago. If there's a prayer for rain, certainly there must be a prayer for summer's official end, right?

I'm probably wrong on a prayer for summer's end, but I also wish there was a prayer for making those credit/debit card chip readers work more efficiently. Hmm, what does the card chip reader have to do with the weather? That's a weird segue. This has been a weird summer so why not do a non-sequitur in this post? I'm not sure about you, but every time I go to use the credit/debit chip card, it seems to take a bit longer than the swipe. We've been told that the swipe is far less secure than this newer chip-type card. A survey came out the other day with some rather disturbing reviews. The shoppers are not happy with these chip-enabled cards. A survey by a company called Square discovered that 91 percent and 87 percent of debit and credit cards user respectively 'are frustrated' with these devices. Why? They cards require more security. At some terminals, a PIN is required while others, the transactions seem to take a bit longer to process.

Around this time last year, there was a quasi-deadline for getting the credit/debit card chip readers up and running. These cards are encoded with EMV chips for extra security. EMV stand for Europay, Mastercard and Visa. Europay? What? Apparently the Europeans have been using this extra secure technology for quite some time and we in The States are just catching up with our friends across the pond. But our friends over there seem to have more patience that We The People in the U.S.A. After all, in The States, we are overbooked with places to go and people to Skype or text with on a second-by-second basis. Americans need speed whilst the French need breathing time to walk, smell the roses and enjoy their baguettes, escargot, awesome wine and fine cheese.

It turns out that many retail outlets are not making the so-called EMV October 2016 deadline. In certain stores, there might be an EMV reader at the end of the checkout line, but that particular outlet might still make you swipe your card the old fashioned insecure way. At the moment in many stores it's a case of 'Swipe or Not to Swipe."

Is there a solution to the EMV dilemma? The chip experts say that wireless payments - or NFC (Near Field Communication, here we go with another acronym) - is the way to go with faster payments. NFC is the technology that makes Apple Pay or Android Pay from mobile phones possible. To be honest, there are times when I'm ready to head to Southern France like that artist R. Crumb, ditch all the cards, phones, texts, social networking etc. and run away from this American "plugged-in culture," but first, I have a Skype call to make.


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