Commissary Now Has Those Annoying Card Chip Readers


I know, I know. It's for the good of everyone's personal security. I get it.

(They are still annoying.)

Starting early this year, credit card companies were required by federal mandate to have encrypted chips on their credit cards -- and stores started installing credit card terminals that can read them. Rather than swipe your card, the chip program requires that you stick the chip side of the card into the terminal and wait for what seems like an exorbitant amount of time while it reads it. The system then makes one of the world's most annoying beeping sounds to alert you that it's time to remove your card.

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) began rolling out the chip reader system in their stores in early April, with all the stores stateside online by late May. Officials said all the stores in the system, including those overseas, will be online by early July.

For now the most annoying thing to me about the chip system is keeping up with merchants need you to insert your card, and which don't. I know -- in the great scheme of things in the world. having to figure out which card process to use and then waiting for it to read the chip is a very minor problem. I'm with you. It's still annoying.

DeCA officials said there haven't been any major problems with the technology roll-out required for the card reading, although some checkers complained to me that the system often has trouble distinguishing between debit and credit cards, requiring a manager to come to the terminal to backtrack the process. DeCA officials said the bugs they are experiencing are normal for a new system.

Buying and installing the new card readers and upgrading the commissary's technology system to be able to handle the chips cost DeCA about $11.3 million, officials said.

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