Anyone who has encountered a "NO CHIP, PLEASE SWIPE" sign while trying to pay via credit or debit card has probably noticed the switch from magnetic stripes to EMV chips hasn't been the smoothest. According to one study cited by the New York Times, it takes an average of eight to 12 seconds just to complete a transaction. While folks outside the country might scoff at American impatience, Square went ahead and did something about it: driving down checkout times with its latest update to the Square contactless and chip reader.
Square says it now takes a snappy 4.2 seconds from the moment you dip your chip until the transaction is completed. And they'd like to see that turnaround time driven down even further, to an even three seconds. Square does have a bit of an advantage in the space because they control both the hardware and software at Square registers, but according the New York Times, Wal-Mart also managed to save customers 11 seconds just by removing an amount confirmation screen.
On the other hand, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out last month, all of this is driving towards a contactless payment future. And, as it turns outs, chip cards were not as secure as we thought in the first place.