Mastercard aims to speed up your chip-and-PIN payments

It's teaming up with Verifone to deliver faster card readers at the store.

Alice-photo via Getty Images

Chip cards are ultimately faster than paying with a magnetic stripe and a signature (or worse, a check), but they're sometimes slow -- and it's bad enough that Mastercard wants to do something. The company is partnering with Verifone and Global Payments to build its speedy M/Chip Fast technology into EMV card reading systems destined for the US. The focus is on fast food, grocery stores, mass transit and anywhere else that waiting even a few seconds might cause frustration (especially for the people behind you).

As for a timetable? Unfortunately, there isn't any -- that's partly dependent on retailers upgrading their gear. However, there's certainly an incentive to offer improvements relatively soon. Although the US was very late to chip-and-PIN payments, it's already the largest market. Even a modest speed-up could drastically reduce checkout times, helping businesses handle more customers. And of course, it'd encourage the use of chip cards -- you might be more likely to lean on yours if it helps you return home that much sooner.