Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tech progress rant

I enjoy the 538 Significant Digit email (kind of a link list of data-ish items), but Wednesday's iteration was just a little too twerpish for my taste. Too often Five-Thirty-Eight veers toward unnecessary cuteness, while nonetheless providing solid content most of the time. In this campaign season, I skim its politics category daily.

Here's the offending item, in toto:
18 seconds
I got one of those new chip credit cards, and it’s a total nightmare. It takes credit card machines forever to read the card, and society hasn’t yet developed the conversational mores for chitchat with the cashier during the half-minute the busted-up card reader is judging me. But there is hope on the horizon: Visa is launching software that can cut up to 18 seconds off the transaction time. I really wish I could go back to the swipe card because I don’t really need the extra security — that’s a problem for people with enough money where having a credit card stolen would be a cause for concern rather than a way for a thief to quickly overdraft at a Taco Bell.
The accompanying link was to the Wall Street Journal, but I don't link to their pay-walled content. Here's a Denver Post version of the story.

All I can say is: dude, have you ever been outside the old U.S. of A? The credit card chip technology is the international standard most everywhere. I even encountered it in rural Montenegro and was glad my card had been upgraded. They don't know from swiping.

We're on the wrong end of the chronic contemporary experience of being stuck with legacy technology. Small businesses hate the chip development, because, understandably, they don't want to have to replace their machines. Even some larger national outfits (thinking of you, Costco) seem stuck in old technology. But they'll all come along eventually.

Here's a geek explanation of the credit card chips:
Credit cards with chips use the EMV standard, which stands for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa.” EMV is a global standard allowing chip cards to interoperate at point-of-sale systems and automated banking machines. (Despite the name, American Express and Discover are also participating.)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails