Thursday, August 18, 2016

For Their Benefit, Not Yours

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch image)
WSJ tech writer Joanna Stern confirms what we've observed: [bold added]
After pulling out the stopwatch for over 50 transactions at various retailers in recent days, I can confirm that it takes twice as long to pay with a chip card than with a card swipe or mobile payment—on average, 13 seconds versus 6 seconds.
Chip cards encrypt transactions and therefore have vastly superior security vs. swipe cards. The doubling in processing time, however, burdens both consumers and merchants, while the benefit of lower fraud losses goes to the credit card company. (The last time I had my credit card number stolen was five years ago, the cc company absorbed the loss, and I'm absolutely fine with the old system.)

If the existing way of doing things (credit cards, health care) is working well for the large majority, and large institutions make sweeping changes for the "consumer's benefit", be sure it's for their benefit, not yours.

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