The implementation of EMV chip readers was supposed to have occurred by October, 2015, but as anyone who has been in a retail establishment lately knows, the transition is still in progress.

Most outlets now have the machinery, but a maddening number of them still work only with the “swipe” function rather than the chip. From just looking at the machine, there is no way for the customer to know whether to insert the chip or to swipe, which I am sure results in undue frustration for people on both sides of the counter.

I was recently at a convenience store that provided a perfect solution to the dilemma. They inserted a blank gift card into the chip mechanism and wrote “no chip.” Problem solved. Everyone can know with clarity what to do with their credit card in that machine.

I am not sure why the manufacturer did not provide a similar feature, perhaps more eloquently stated and professionally done. All chip readers could have come with an insert that said “Chip feature in progress,” or something similar instead of having people fumble through for the months that installation was in progress.

If your organization is continually asked the same question or sees its customers hesitate about what to do (eg: which door to enter, where to find the restrooms, what something costs, etc.), spell it out for them. Even if it is a simple sign written with a Sharpie, eliminating the little annoyances goes a long way in the overall customer experience.

beth triplett

See Dot #1329, chips, January 21, 2016 for more on this topic

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