A Tiny Change That Could Make Black Friday Even More Miserable This Year

Black Friday Rush

If you are dreading the long lines of Black Friday 2015, things are about to get worse.  Not only are you going to have to push and claw your way into the store, the check out line is going to take a lot longer.   As f it were even possible for Black Friday to get more miserable for shoppers and stores, say hello to magnetic strips from the credit-card industry.

As you may have noticed, card swiping is becoming a thing of the past.  Last month chips have been mandated instead of magnetic strips.  The change was made for an important reason:  credit card security.  The credit-card industry self-imposed October 1 as the deadline for the new card readers, though many consumers had received chip-enabled credit and debit cards — which will still work on the old “swipe” card processors — long before that.

The rollout going to have extreme consequences, retailers point out, especially as November 27th, Black Friday, rolls around.

“Any time you introduce a major change like this, there’s going to be confusion,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst with CreditCards.com. “There’s no question this is going to cause some slowdown on Black Friday.”

The change itself is simple: Instead of swiping the card through the magnetic-strip reader, shoppers now have to insert it — chip side up — into a slot on the bottom of the device.

But here’s where the delays come in. People who are unfamiliar with the process will swipe as they always have, then be told it didn’t work because they have a new chip-enabled card. Then they must be shown how to insert it, and leave it in, so the payment can be processed.

And it won’t be pretty for retailers either:

“There is going to be a rude awakening” for retailers, said Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager for The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Nebraska-based advisory firm focusing on payments. “The industry is still bickering over how long an EMV transaction takes.”

See the full story at Business Insider


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