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Square confirms: People really don’t like those chip credit cards

All banks and credit card companies must now provide EMV chips in their credit and debit cards. What is an EMV chip, and how does it make your account information more secure? The Post has the answers. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

When it comes to mixing convenience and security at the cash register, we still have a long way to go. Credit cards with security chips have more or less become the norm over the past several months. But that doesn't mean that people are happy about it.

While transactions made with the chip-enabled cards are more secure than those made with an old-fashioned swipe, a survey from the mobile payments firm Square has found that 91 percent of debit card users and 87 percent of credit card users are frustrated with the new cards. The top reason? The extra security checks for chip cards means they take a while at the register — as anyone who has one can tell you.

In a company blog post Thursday, Square said that about 75 percent of shoppers at its merchants are now using chip cards, up from 40 percent of shoppers at this time last year.

The Square survey, which asked 1,000 people about their top payment gripes, found that 37 percent said that complaints about slow lines were the most common.

So what's the solution? Square, in an infographic, heavily pushes the idea that NFC — near-field communication technology that enables wireless payments — is the answer to shoppers' woes.

NFC is the underlying technology for Apple Pay and Android Pay and can be quicker than inserting your chip-enabled card into a reader, since you just tap your phone against a card reader to pay. Square asserts that NFC is the safest payment technology out there, though it must be said that NFC payments have also had their security woes.

The problem is that people don't trust the security of NFC payments. (Security checks are, of course, the very thing that makes chip card transactions take so long.) The survey found that 77 percent of the 1,000 respondents hadn't used NFC payments at all, with more than half citing security concerns as their main reason to stay away. Among adults over 35, just 26 percent had used the technology at all.

NFC adoption is higher among millennials: 45 percent of shoppers younger than 34 said they had used the smartphone-tapping technology.

You can see the full infographic from Square below:


(Courtesy of Square)
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