Because the Only Thing Chip Readers are Good For is Embarrassing Us

Remember when chips were placed on our credit and debit cards? And financial institutions were all excited because this would make checking out much faster? And we were like “but I’m fine putting in my pin” and they were all “NO NO NO you are not. That takes too long and it’s not secure enough.” And we said: “I don’t see what the big deal is. Leave it as it is.” And they replied with “no, this is much more convenient. You’re all welcome.”

Yeah. Now they’ve forced these chips on our cards, with pomp and circumstance. So we started having to use it and all it’s caused is embarrassment as we stand there deciding whether we need to swipe or insert the chip side? Mmhmm.


I am usually a decisive person but you should see me whenever I get to the register and the delay in my brain on whether I need to swipe or insert. Or I go to swipe and I’m like “oh yeah. The chip.” The struggle is real.

And here’s the part that kills me softly. Why does the chip reader take so long that I need to take a nap and shower before pulling my card out?? It’s sitting there “processing” and blinking at me for what feels like eternity, and I’m looking at the cashier, wondering if I should be making small talk because this awkward silence is too much. Then it finally finishes and it rings the alarm for you to pull it out. USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE, CARD MACHINE.

Those damb chip readers. Straight sabotage!

I took it to my Awesomely Luvvie FB page, and my peeps felt my pain, especially when it comes to how long they take to process.

Tamara: I’m saying… my ex husband didn’t take that long to pull out.

Lynn: Like the chip reader is actually calling the bank and checking your credit score before approving the purchase.

Aaron: Oh it gets worse, at Bed Bath Beyond today, I put my card in the chip reader, asked to pay with credit not debit, and had to Type My Dang cc number into the machine, the exp date, and the cvv. Whhhhyyyy?

Cia: I might have left all the items and just gone home.

Leah: It didn’t ask for your blood type? You got off easy!!!

Megan: Hell yes with the first world problems. And if we could possibly standardize the buttons and signature/no-signature requirement that would be delightful. Please and thank you.

Jules: You don’t have tap?????? Chip readers are soooo passe…… I thought Americans were ahead of Canadians!!!! LOL…

Cia: Donald Trump is a contender for president. At this point, we’re only ahead of Mexico and not by much. Lol!

Julia: And then it yells at you if you don’t pull out quick enough -like you might get it pregnant or something.

Alesia: And why is it so frantic? “DO NOT REMOVE CARD. DO NOT REMOVE CARD.” Okay okay, calm down already!

Molly: It’s all caps screaming DO NOT REMOVE CARD for 8.5 minutes and then immediately starts screaming TAKEITOUTTAKEITOUTTAKEITOUTWTFHAVENTYOUTAKENITOUTALREADY


Cartoon from Retail Comic

Joslyn: Why does the chip sound like you are taking merchandise out of the store?

Tracey: Love the way it holds your card hostage for an eternity, then demands that you take it away!! #makeupyourmind

Esther: Chip reader treat us like a bitch. DONT REMOVE CARD TIL I TELL YOU TO. ⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️ OK NOW HOE. TAKE YOUR CARD. I SAY TAKE YOUR CARD WITCHO BROKE AZZ! Beeeeeeeeep

Zahra: I promise you I just said this to a clerk at the Dollar General the other day!! That dang thing takes 13 years to go through, then the thing kinda growls or beeps like it’s being rejected by the bank! It’s too much!

Janelle: “The chip reader will be faster” they said…….LIES!!!!

Tammy: I feel I’ve become closer to the cashier at the grocery store because we have such a long time to chat while waiting for that chip to finish up its business. Might invite him to be on the Christmas card photo this year.

Mandy: I pulled it out prematurely once. It was a disaster. Lol

Rachel: And there’s also the fact that your card is just hanging out there on display for all to see with most of its numbers exposed. Someone could copy down those numbers by hand like 5 times before that dumbass machine beeps at you to remove your card like you fucked up and should have already removed it. ????

Velma: I hate the beep in A-Minor key when your charge is APPROVED. Be happy dammit, don’t make it sound like my account is negative

Faida: Chip reader must be a man: DO NOT REMOVE CARD! (yeah girl!). PLEASE REMOVE CARD! (I got mine, please leave)

Jason: Cause your credit card be calling homeland security and holding you while they come. That’s what I feel like.

Chris: That GD premature pull out gets ’em every time.

Tina: And the facial expression is the same. ????

Kimberly: Then you have the checkouts that’s set up for Apple or Samsung pay and it doesn’t work. Then you have to get out the chip card and have to see if it’s insert or swipe. Tew much to get some Cheetos.


Comic from Laughing Squid

Christopher: Might as well break out your check book. The chip reader takes just as long.

Rebecca: I’m going back to cash

Angie: It’s probably on a smoke break with the GPS lady.

Mauri: Always having me scared it’s gonna be declined even though I double check my balance while shopping and triple check while waiting in line. #HolyRunOnBatman!

Dani: And why do stores have the chip reader machine, but it doesn’t work? So I’m inserting the card and waiting like a fking dummy, the after we both stare at each other for a minute she says oh, that doesn’t work, you have to slide it.

True story. Down with the chip readers, man. OVER THEM.

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  1. Mme Zenobia
    September 30, 2016 at 9:11 am

    That first cartoon is real. I HATE the sound the chip reader makes when it’s time to pull out my card. It sounds like my card has been declined, which is embarrassing even though I know that’s not what happened. The psychological toll of the chip reader is just too high!

  2. SoulfliHoneyBea
    September 30, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I still don’t understand why I got to insert the chip and put in my pin. It’s the stupidest thing I have ever had to deal with.

    It’s not faster, it’s a disaster.

    That beeping startled me so much the first time I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. I feel like if it declines, it will play that whoomp, whoomp, whoomp sound. After all, it plays an alarm when approved, announcing it to the whole store.

    I wish I could go back to a card without the chip.

    • MissusMax
      September 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

      RIGHT!!! Like what exactly am I gaining by STILL having to put in my pin with the chip reader? I think banks need to give money back to people for every second over 30 seconds for the transaction to go through. I bet them mofos will get lightning fast real quick!

  3. Kierah
    September 30, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Ssshhh don’t tell…some stores disable their chip readers when they are super busy like clearance sales, Black Friday, and Christmas. Basically when there is the biggest opportunity for fraud you are the least safe. In pursuit of the almighty dollar, we will continue to look a fool at the checkout.

  4. Maggie
    September 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I am super-confused by how much trouble it is to use a chip reader in the US. I mean, I 100% believe that it is that much trouble and that it isn’t the customers’ fault, but I just don’t understand why businesses can’t get their shit together with the chip readers.

    Up here north of the border, the only time I have a problem with a chip reader is when I’m an idiot and try to pay for my coffee with my bus pass.

  5. Bethany
    September 30, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    And then there’s the ones that make you do the reader AND swipe (Rite-Aid -_-).

  6. Jp
    September 30, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I didn’t even open that envelope. My current card is good into 2019, and I plan to use it until it expires.

    • QueenK
      September 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      since your bank sent you a new card, they will probably deactivate the old one at some point – even before it expires… sharing lessons learned 🙂

  7. Saran
    September 30, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Meanwhile other countries like Canada have been using strictly chip for years with no problem. My parents vacationed in Canada last year and they only take chip cards. no swiping at all. This is why the US stay gettin’ hacked. SMH

  8. Christina Joy
    September 30, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I went to the Amish Market here in Maryland today and I swear the chip machines stress the little Amish ladies all the way out. She pulled the card out of the machine too soon and was like….it didn’t go through. So I said you have to leave it in there until it is completely done. She looked hurt and offended when that worked. These cards are the devil.

  9. September 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t even know if I have the chip. I am a swipe girl all the way! I think I am coming up on that age where technology starts to confuse me, dangnabit!

  10. kenzy
    September 30, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    wait a minute this is my first time hearing chips were suppose to eliminate pin numbers for real for real?? i still have to put in my pin when i chip …im so confused even more now

  11. October 1, 2016 at 12:40 am

    I PROMISE you I ask at every single store if the chip reader works. You’d be surprised at the percentage of how often the answer is no.

  12. October 1, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I feel you on this one. I used to be able to make a transaction at the ATM machine in less than 2 minutes – deposit or withdrawal. Now it takes 5 minutes or more because of that stupid chip. Arrgggh!!

  13. Tosha P
    October 3, 2016 at 6:17 am

    I’m a cashier and when I tell people (upfront) the chip doesn’t work you have to swipe 100% of the time their response is, “but I have the chip” or “y’all chip thing don’t work” then I have to say, “JUST SWIPE THE CARD MA’AM/SIR”

  14. Brie
    October 6, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I hate these chip cards. I’ve had to replace mines 8 times because it never works anywhere. I love when I go somewhere and they aren’t hip with the chip. I’m so tired of inserting my card and it won’t work. But just a heads up, if you insert it 3 times and it doesn’t work it will let you swipe it.

  15. howlingbanshee
    October 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Yeeeeah, that old school “cash only” method is starting to look very attractive.

    I’d better go do my “change drills” – where I practice stuffing my wallet with bills and coins (that I would get back in change) in a timely manner so I’m not in somebody’s way, fumbling and carrying on, hoping to high heaven that I don’t tear some of my dollars on my wallet zipper again. *sigh* #klutzproblems