(BTW - Online PIN is retailer implementation specific, not card specific. Cards still need to do offline PIN.)
Support for Online PIN transactions is not mandatory per the EMV specifications (neither is Offline PIN, by the way, so no, cards don't "need" to do Offline PIN either), and support in point-of-sale terminals varies, especially by country. The chip in the card tells the payment terminal what CVM (Cardholder Verification Method) options it has, and it also defines the preferred order of those methods. The payment terminal is then supposed to use the first CVM in the list that it is able to support.
The retailer does of course need POS hardware/software that supports Online PIN in order to process such transactions. I'm not sure I'd describe that as the retailer "implementing" Online PIN though. The retailer either supports that particular CVM option in their point-of-sale system or they don't. That could just be semantics though.
However, my earlier point about American retailers still stands. Any retailer here in the States that supports debit card transactions (as specifically debit-with-PIN, not as a credit transaction) already supports Online PIN, because that's how our debit cards work; they're universally Online PIN only. Since debit card transaction support is very widely available in the U.S., that by extension means Online PIN transaction support is already widely available too. That's why I find it odd that our move to EMV didn't just go with Online PIN instead of signature--or even just support both, in preferred order, so the card would drop back to chip-and-signature for POS terminals that don't do Online PIN. Maybe the methods used for our debit network aren't in any way compatible with EMV transaction processing, don't really know.
But that is also a difference that US and Canadian ATM's have as well. US ATM's generally make you swipe the card and then put it back in your wallet, while you complete the transaction. Canadian ATM's hold onto the card until you tell the ATM that you're done.
Curious. Now, I admit I never use third-party ATMs so maybe those are different, but among first-party bank ATMs, I haven't encountered a swipe one in a good 25 years. Ever since the early 90s, and having been a customer of several different U.S. banks, all I've encountered are insert-and-hold-card ATMs.
They worried that having PINs would confuse people, etc. etc. Boo hoo.
That was always a red herring and never an issue. Especially when you consider that debit card transactions (with PIN) are very common in the U.S. Arguably more common than credit cards, depending on the retailer. Or shit, just think of everyone with a smartphone; if they're not using a fingerprint, they're using a PIN every time they unlock their phone. Americans do not have issues with PINs. I mean, speaking of "Grandma needs to switch", yeah, my grandmother uses debit with PIN herself. She'd likely barely notice the difference if we went to chip-and-PIN.
I disagree with DogDude too: it wasn't about merchants either. Any EMV/chip-capable hardware a merchant purchases would support PIN by default, because it's in the EMV standard. So there was no cost difference, hardware-wise, for the merchant between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN. Most merchants anyway. I imagine restaurants there would be a cost difference, because you need a PIN pad you can bring to the table, but I would still say any merchant with a fixed-location point-of-sale register would see no cost difference in the hardware.
No, the real cost is the banks. For most implementations of EMV, the PIN is encrypted in the chip. There are some implementations that do "online PIN" where the PIN is verified directly with the card issuer and is not stored on the card's chip, but this isn't very common among EMV-using nations (though it is fully supported in the EMV specifications). So, if you have a PIN that's stored in the chip, you need to have some way for the customer to change their PIN, right? Well, in the vast, vast majority of the EMV-using world, this is done at an ATM. However, chip-capable ATMs are almost non-existent in the U.S. Think about how many ATMs there are at banks and branches. Replacing them with ATMs capable of accessing and changing chip information and PINs is a massive cost.
The banks themselves have outright said that this is their primary, bulk cost and the process of rolling out new, chip-capable ATMs will take a fair amount of time. Once that is done, however, then you can expect to see PIN added to our EMV cards probably pretty quickly.
Now, why the U.S. couldn't just implement "online PIN", since it's fully supported by the EMV standard, I do not know. It's not like the U.S. banking networks can't handle it. Virtually any U.S.-issued credit card that has an option for PIN-based cash advances/withdrawals at ATMs uses an online PIN. You'd think it wouldn't be a huge change to use that same functionality for EMV cards.
That involves RFID and/or NFC, right? How does "add wireless stuff to it" make any system at all more secure over an overt and obvious physical interaction?
Apple Pay and Android Pay both implement tokenization for their contactless systems, which is significantly more secure than non-tokenized transactions, physical interaction or not. The massive Target hack, for example? Wouldn't have worked on tokenized transactions.
Tokenization is part of the EMV Payment Specifications so it could be implemented in physical chip transactions as well. Might have been, I'm not sure off-hand. But Apple Pay in particular got a lot of press for being the first implementation of contactless EMV tokenization.
...very high resolution IPS panels...
Consider the Dark Ages of notebooks just a few short years ago. Crap from Dell and the others were sporting 1024x768 resolutions on crap LCD displays and were thick, heavy pieces of garbage. My ThinkPad T43 from 2004 had a 1400x1050 IPS panel and 5 years later, outside of CPU, the enterprise class machines actually had worse specifications!
I was with you right up to that part. Apple lagged woefully behind in screens for a very long time, unless you're forgetting that the 15" MBP was 1440x900 right up to mid-2012, long after other laptops had gone to at LEAST 1680x1050 (or 1600x1200 for 4:3) for the same size screen, with some even using 1920x1200. The 17" model was better, at 1680x1050 to start out with and then quickly moved to 1920x1200 in late 2008. However 1920x1200 had been fairly common on other 17" laptops already by that time. At least when talking at the MBP's same price point, of course.
And this is all just considering the MacBook Pro, which only came out in 2006; the PowerBooks before that had even lower specs. Your 2004 T43 had a 15" screen option for UXGA at 1600x1200 that outclassed the 15" MBP right up to mid-2012.
And keep in mind that the Retina screens have an actual resolution and an effective resolution. My 15" Retina MBP might have a 2880x1800 native IPS panel, but my actual usable desktop in OS X still defaults to that goddamn paltry 1440x900, pixel-doubled so it looks all pretty. Yes I know I can change the default, but it still annoys me that that's what it defaults to at all.
"The identical is equal to itself, since it is different." -- Franco Spisani