Interestingly, my prepaid MasterCard contactless sticker worked perfectly in 7-Eleven, and I have an independent witness and photos to prove it (thanks to our good friends at Glenbrook). But my UK contactless Visa cards were not recognised in any US terminals. Why? Because the sticker is MSD and the cards are EMV and the US terminals aren't reading EMV contactless (although terminals here in Singapore do).
The result of all this is, essentially, that when I walked into a shop, I had no idea which cards would work properly or not. The whole system is beginning to annoy customers, and I just can't see how it can continue this way, with US customers having their stripe cards refused in the UK and UK customers having their cards refused in the US. Time for some change.
Who has to give? Does the US give in and switch to EMV or do we all forget about MSD, EMV, plastic cards and magnetic stripes and start planning (with all of the stakeholders) for the next generation? That might be a bit too radical, to be honest, but the industry will need a push from somewhere. The Feds?
If the U.S. government mandated the switch to digital T.V., why can't it mandate that credit and debit card issuers switch from magnetic stripe cards to chip-based payment cards that require a personal identification number for additional security? Richard Oliver, evp of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Retail Payments Forum, posed that question recently and argued that the growing security vulnerabilities posed by magnetic stripes may warrant policy action by the government.[From The Fed Gets Involved with EMV – Bank Technology News Article]
As Nick Collin and I were discussing in a recent podcast, we may be heading toward an inflexion point where the $7 billion US card fraud problem combines with mounting hassle for transatlantic travellers (in both directions) to the point where US banks, retailers and other stakeholders have to make a firm timetable to move away from magnetic stripe.
But to what?
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]