September 29, 2016 09:00 ET

Cayan Study: One Year Later, More Than 80 Percent of Shoppers Are Still Confused and Frustrated With Slow Chip Card Payments

This Holiday Season, Slow Chip Card Transactions Will Create Epic Long Lines In-Store, Drive Greater Adoption of Mobile Payments and Drive an Increase Online Shopping

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 29, 2016) - October 2016 marks one year since the introduction of chip card payments at retail stores across the U.S., however high levels of consumer frustration and confusion remain widespread, according to new research published by Cayan, a payment technology company. Cayan's study -- conducted by Research Now -- found 83 percent of shoppers are confused whether retailers accept chip cards or not. The study also found that chip card transactions exceeding five seconds jeopardize a shopper's loyalty to a retail brand. With the holiday shopping season approaching, the high levels of shopper frustration could mean a bumpy Black Friday and beyond.

"The clear shopper frustration with chip card technology is going to create significant hurdles for retailers this holiday season, as many retailers have already begun locking down their systems as we move towards the holidays," said Henry Helgeson, CEO and co-founder of Cayan. "Though retailers could curb long lines and frustrated customers by adding employees, aisles, space, etc., those are large investments many want to avoid. The real answer is working to subtract time from the transaction time -- something processors around the country are working hard right now to do."

Holiday season slowdown
Retailers across the country are preparing for a busy holiday shopping season, but they should be bracing for the impact of chip cards on holiday shopping behavior this year. Slow transaction times combined with highly frustrated consumers have primed retailers everywhere for tough year. In fact, holiday shopping behaviors will be impacted directly by the use of chip cards, with 71 percent of shoppers reporting that they are definitely or somewhat likely to shop online rather than in retail stores. This is particularly true of younger shoppers, with 80 percent of 18-34 year-olds planning to shop more online.

  • More than half of 18-34 year olds also report that slow chip card transactions will drive them to use a mobile pay option
  • When it comes to shoppers across generations, 37 percent will be driven to use mobile pay options because of long wait times for chip cards.

Confusion is king
Today, 42 percent of consumers use chip cards three or more times per week while shopping, but POS machines that accept chip cards are not ubiquitous: 91 percent of shoppers have encountered machines that don't accept chip cards in the past six months, per Cayan's study. Other findings include:

  • Eighty-three percent of shoppers find themselves confused about where chip cards are accepted.
  • Typically, consumers will look for signage on a POS machine (44%) or the cashier will tell them (40%) if a chip card is accepted.

Slow chip card transactions rampant
Aside from confusion, slow shopping transactions due to chip cards are creating make or break situations for consumers. Twenty percent of consumers say that a wait time of between 5-20 seconds means they would forgo shopping at that retailer in the future. The research also concluded:

  • Half of consumers surveyed think that paying with chip-enabled cards is slower than paying with non-chip cards.
  • The average chip card transaction is perceived by consumers to take 49% longer than a non-chip card transaction (17 seconds vs. 11 seconds).
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of shoppers experience some level of frustration waiting for a chip card transaction

Chip card safety message fails to sink in
The move to convert all credit cards to chip cards was intended to make transactions far more secure and resistant to hackers -- but that message does not seem to have resonated with consumers. Less than half -- just 47% -- are aware that chip-cards are more secure than non-chip cards.

About Cayan
Cayan™ is the leading provider of payment technologies that give businesses a competitive advantage. From simple and reliable payment processing, to fully integrated, multi-channel customer engagement platforms, Cayan is continuously developing new ways for businesses to unlock the power of payments. Following the rollout of EMV chip card capabilities last October, Cayan has developed their Genius Platform, delivering chip card transactions of under four seconds in an effort to create a more seamless and enjoyable experience for both consumers and merchants. Headquartered in Boston, the company has multiple offices in the United States and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Cayan is one of the world's fastest growing payment companies. For more information, visit

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