CHIP CARDS: THE CONSUMER PERSPECTIVE (Sept 2015)

Awareness, Usage, and Appeal

Benefits and Barriers

Fraud and Security

Key Finding from the Report:

SYNERGISTICS survey results reveal that three-fourths of credit card users are aware of chip/EMV credit cards, representing an increase from 2012.

A84 Prop graphic

Highlights of the Study

This study examines the consumer reaction to chip/EMV cards including their perceived advantages and disadvantages.   Consumer reaction to contactless payments is also assessed.

National Internet Survey – 1,000 consumers age 18 or older.

Key Dates

September 2015 — Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • To what extent are consumers aware of the implementation of chip card/EMV technology in the United States?  To what extent have chip cards already been issued to credit and debit card users?  Are chip cards seen as an improvement for payment cards?
  • What benefits or valuable features do card users see in chip cards?  What concerns may represent barriers to usage?
  • How prevalent is experience with actual chip card transactions?  Are card users adapting to the process?
  • Do card users see utility or value in other potential applications for chip cards -– such as storing account numbers and information, storing a record of purchases, maintaining medical records, or storing insurance information?
  • How does the introduction of chip card technology interact with or impact contactless payments?  How widespread is current usage of contactless payments – for credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments?
  • What is the perception of the relative security of “chip and PIN” versus “chip and signature?”
  • Which customer segments – in terms of demographic and behavioral variables – have adopted or will adopt chip cards most easily?  Which might be in need of additional information and consumer education to ease this process?

Research Issues

  • 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the chip card in the U.S. card and payments market.  Chip or EMV cards are now used extensively in Europe, Canada and around the world, but adoption in this country has been slow due to the existing magnetic stripe networks and infrastructure.
  • EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, has become the global standard for chip cards.  Chip cards offer greater security and reduced fraud risks for consumers and merchants.  Chip technology permits a wide variety of applications in addition to payments, such as storing loyalty program participation, medical information, or insurance coverage.
  • Many questions need to be answered before chip card implementation is complete. Do consumers have concerns with regard to the security of a chip card?  Do consumers have a preference for chip and PIN or chip and signature based programs? What do consumers view as the advantages and disadvantages of chip cards? What features will be key in driving usage of these cards?  It is imperative that providers understand the consumer reaction to chip cards. [A84]