Suzi Shopper: Chip and Signature and EMV – An Opportunity to Connect with Customers

Suzi Shopper: Thoughts on business from a consumer’s perspective

Working for a company that helps retailers automate and optimize their business processes, I’ve been well aware of the EMV requirement in the US that went into effect in October of this year. But on a recent business trip, I realized that most businesses I interacted with have not made the change. I use my credit cards exclusively when traveling, and on my latest two-week stint away from home, all but one transaction were card swipes. The one chip and signature transaction out of all of these occurred in the Atlanta airport, and the merchant placed my card in the POS and instructed me to sign.

However, on my first chip and signature transaction prior to my trip, I was at a big box store and didn’t realize my card had the chip. I don’t recall the credit card company noting any changes that I would need to make when using my card. I can tell you, I was really confused when it came time to pay. I swiped my card and the screen noted that I needed to enter my chip. I had no idea where to do this. The chip reader is below the screen and somewhat hidden. The cashier had to instruct me. Of course, when I entered my card, I pulled it right back out, not leaving it in for the chip to be read. She had to then give me further instruction.

My point here is that, if you haven’t already, when you do install those new chip card readers, you now have an opportunity to show you care about your customers and engage in meaningful dialogue by giving your employees a spiel for those consumers who don’t know about the changes. For example: “Oh, you have a new chip and signature card. Let me explain how to use it…”

Take advantage of the opening to create a “little wow” for your customers as we all make the transition to chip and signature.

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