We have received numerous complaints and questions from our customers about the length of time it takes EMV transactions to be approved. In some cases, the customer must leave the card inserted for more than 15 seconds. As the technology improves, these wait times will shorten.
Approving an EMV transaction is actually a two-step process. Both the card issuer and the chip itself must approve the transaction. First, the payment request is sent to the card issuer. Once the card issuer decides whether or not to approve the transaction, it sends its decision back to the chip. The chip then has to make the final determination and finalize the transaction. The card needs to stay inserted throughout the entirety of this process.
While it can be frustrating or awkward to wait for the authorization to complete, it's definitely worth it for the increased security EMV provides!
Note: Some card brands are promoting "Quick Chip" cards they say will speed up EMV transactions. This isn't exactly true. A Quick Chip card simply lets the customer remove the card from the reader before the authorization is final - it doesn't actually make the authorization go any faster. While the customer is putting their card back in their wallet, the transaction is still finishing up.