Whew, EMV is here. And now we’re doing contactless?

This began as a comment to the article “What Will the Arrival of Contactless Payments Bring?” I aim to dive a bit deeper into my positions within the confines of a full post. Since this affects you, credit union staff (and member), I’d really like to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment with what your credit union has done so far on EMV and contactless transition and education, as well as planning for “the next” payment method. Now enjoy the post! It will take about 5 minutes to read.

As the slow transition to faster, easier, and more secure payment technology eases on, I cannot help but wonder what everyone’s talking about. It’s like we are under some collective delusion that makes us think new complexity beats old simplicity. Think of paying for something in 2002. As long as you weren’t that person writing a check, you had two options: Cash or plastic. Cash exchanged hands, change was given…done. Plastic got swiped (or inserted if you’re from Europe). You signed (which was always dumb) or entered a PIN. Transaction approved (or declined). Get receipt and move on with life.

Now, in 2018, we decided that was too simple and in need of fixing. Some endorse using cash only, others suggest using pre-paid debit through Simple, PayPal, or another fin tech company. Then the credit unions speak up with guidance on using your new EMV chip card. Oh, and there’s ApplePay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay… If you follow my writing, you’ll know how strongly I support more secure payment methods, so I’m not saying we go backwards, just move ahead with some careful thought. Since consumers and merchant staff will always default to simple, we need to ensure that’s also the preferred method.


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