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“EMV is sooo inconvenient!”

Come on, really? Isn’t 20 seconds a small price to pay for better security?

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

By far, the most common complaint about EMV is that it takes too long!


How long is 10 seconds, 20 … even 30 seconds to complete a transaction. Let’s face it, the EMV part of this development is significantly improved card security.

Swiping is fast—and so is swiping your data

So, what is the complaint?

Consumers have lamented that they used to be able to swipe the card and voila, done!

Well, that is true, but you also have little to no security associated with mag-stripe.

Retailers storing card data is common practice, but while at rest this data is in an unencrypted state. Consequently, if a data breach occurs at the retailer, BAM, all of this information is up for grabs.

And as we all know, data breach events are occurring almost daily… and they are growing in size.

EMV technology adds a significant security layer to the transaction, and the transaction is encrypted end to end.

Courtesy of Wombat Labs…

Yes, the mag-stripe card swipe appears to be faster and more convenient, but is it really?

The Wombat conducted his own mini-survey regarding EMV transactions, and found that the EMV card transaction averages about 20 seconds longer over the mag-stripe POS transaction.

Of course, there are steps that need to be taken when using the EMV card, as opposed to the whoosh of the mag-stripe swipe.

The EMV steps are:

1. Insert card.

2. Do not remove.

3. You can remove the card now.

4. Sign the screen.

These steps require us to remain engaged with the event at the point of sale terminal as opposed to the “fire and forget” card swipe.

Is the transaction longer? Slightly.

Does it matter? Absolutely!

I will never complain about more security, particularly when it comes to reducing debit card fraud and improving data security. It is the right thing to do, and the numbers prove the benefits when EMV is deployed.

Everybody wins, with the exception of the crooks. Card fraud events significantly decline, and so do retailer losses.

Everyone’s adjusting

The message: Yes, the U.S. was very slow to the EMV dance, but that is changing.

Processors, financial institutions, and merchants are all moving forward in deploying EMV technology.

What are we consumers doing? Adjusting!

Adjusting to new and better security, which is a good thing! From our point of view, I am always for taking the good at the expense of the bad.

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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