retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that MasterCard and Visa have both "introduced software that they say will speed up slow check-out times for shoppers with new chip-based cards." The new software will mean that consumers will not have to leave their new chip-enabled credit and debit cards in the payment terminals, but rather can dip and remove them - the suggestion is that leaving the cards in the terminals was adding 10 seconds to transactions, which led to retailer complaints.

The story says that "many retailers, particularly in fast food, have chosen to delay accepting chip cards for fear of increasing lines and angering customers. Since last October, these stores have had to shoulder any losses stemming from use of counterfeited cards. But with fraud levels doubling at some stores, many restaurants that held off will have to start accepting chip cards -- a transition that MasterCard, Visa and other card networks have pushed for. The new software could reduce the pain of this switch."
KC's View:
I've talked to a number of retailers who are extremely frustrated by the slow pace of certifying the new and more secure payment terminals that accept debit and credit cards with digital chips, feeling that once the yoke of being financially responsible for fraudulent purchases was transferred from banks to retailers, they simply didn't give a damn.

Now, they're asking questions about what's taken so long to come up with this new software, why it wasn't available to begin with, and what will be the next hiccup that will somehow hurt retailers and benefit the banks. The banking industry must be writing bigger checks and lobbying more effectively than the food industry.