It seems like everything is moving at a much faster pace these days. Mobile devices have accentuated that concept and made it more possible than ever.

Each and every one of us carries around a small, powerful computer in our pockets that can browse, shop, communicate and even record our daily lives. Mobile has revolutionized the world, including the state of modern business, and interactions between brands and their customers. It has also fostered a much faster-paced, always-connected ecosystem.

Although just about everything else is speeding up, one element in particular seems to be either slowing down, or at the least, remaining stagnant: the act of physically paying for transactions or products.

Sure, there are new and more advanced options like Apple and Android Pay and contactless solutions, but they are more the exception than they are the rule. Today, it's mostly credit and debit cards and the act of swiping or inserting cards into a chip reader. Though chip cards may offer a more secure transaction, they also slow down the process.

Customers have to wait for the reader to recognize, scan and respond to their inserted card. According to recent research from Square, 37 percent of consumers are frustrated with slow checkout lines and 91 percent of debit card users are frustrated by the slow speeds associated with using a chip card. Eighty-seven percent of credit card users voice the same frustration.

That's where a speedy EMV solution from Index comes into the picture. It's a chip card reader that relies on a much faster processed payment system. It could effectively speed up modern physical transactions and even optimize the industry. To understand how that's going to happen, you first need to take a closer look at how the related technology improved over time.

One Second Later

Thanks to a partnership with Visa -- and later with Mastercard, too -- a team from Index was able to shave the total time of an EMV transaction from about seven or eight seconds down to two or three. This is both impressive, and welcome. Speeding up the transaction process has many benefits, which we'll look at closer in a bit.

While a speed boost is helpful, a two- or three-second delay can still add up when you're talking about hundreds or thousands of customers. That's additional time that could be funneled into another sale or improved customer experiences. Furthermore, it contributes to higher labor costs, by as much as $3.2 billion. When you mention massive chunks of money like that, eyebrows raise, and for good reason.

Through a series of innovations, that total time was cut down to just one second, effectively making chip readers 10 times faster than others commonly found in grocery and retail stores. This achieves a couple of things.

First, the customer is satisfied because the transaction remains speedy and efficient. Second, it improves the efficiency and productivity of the company in question, as well as their employees.

Index refers to the technology as "the next generation of EMV," which makes sense. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the major companies involved in standard chip-based transactions.

It's a new form of debit and credit technology designed to bolster personal security and prevent common theft of financial data. The chip-based cards, for example, are difficult if not downright impossible to duplicate or clone.

EMV is faster, more secure, and relatively easy to deploy for retailers and businesses. This is a boon to businesses and a godsend for shoppers, especially during the busy holiday season.

After all, getting in and out of stores more quickly gives consumers more time to shop.

Published on: Dec 14, 2017
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