According to recent data, younger consumers are having a harder time adjusting to EMV technology than older consumers, primarily due to a generational split based on speed and security. Younger consumers believe that swiped payments are quicker compared to chip payments, however, in reality chip cards on average do not take much longer than the standard magnetic stripe transactions. With chip cards, consumers must keep their cards inside the terminal longer than a swipe, making it perceived as if the overall transaction is slower to process.
"Younger people prefer the quicker and faster transaction,” said Jeanne Paluch, research director of Morpace. "If you're keeping the card in, it feels like it's taking longer."
Older generations prefer EMV, as they feel this new form of technology keeps their card information more secure than a swipe.
"On the other hand, preference for chip cards among older people was more often driven by perceptions of increased security," said Tim Taylor, vice president of Financial Services of Morpace.
A study conducted by Morpace found the following information in regards card preference based on younger and older consumers:
- 48% of older consumers aged 55 or older favor chip cards, with 30% preferring swipe cards.
- 43% of younger consumers aged 18 to 34 favor swipe cards instead of chip cards, with 21% preferring chip cards.
"This seemed counterintuitive to us based on the usual paradigm of younger people more readily adopting new technology compared to older people," said Taylor.
There’s also the issue of all consumer’s having to learn a new form of technology to make payments, due to the liability shift. According to Morpace, only 66% of the consumers who prefer EMV technology know why swipe cards are being replaced with chip cards.
"There needs to be more education… they don't understand why they're getting a different card and they don't know what to do with it," Paluch said.
Most consumers are not familiar with how an EMV transaction process occurs, and if they do not use their card correctly at an EMV-capable terminal, they have to start the transaction process over. These repeated transactions cause a slower checkout process and creates the perception that chip cards are to blame, not the confused consumer.
"A lot of card holders aren't sure of when to put the card in and when to swipe—and if you do that wrong, you have to repeat the process, which makes the transaction seem longer," said Jessica Tomlinson, a research analyst for Morpace.
As a result, it is vital for business owners to become informed about EMV technology, so they in turn can train their staff to assist consumers with EMV transactions. Cashiers are key employees who can help make sure consumers have a seamless checkout experience and explain to them how to properly use a chip card.
EMV technology can be confusing, and even difficult for both consumers and merchants to completely understand. Nevertheless, the more informed consumers become on EMV with the help of merchants, the easier it will be to use their chip card at EMV-capable terminals.