As a traveler from the US, I agree. Faster overseas.
I think that US CC issuers failed to set a standard for horsepower to process the chip.
Both big and small companies bought the cheapest ones possible.
Local University Parking office... dog ass slow.
Local Liquor store... faster than the parking office, but slow.
Ralphs, fast, but they waited a little while to bring them back.
CVS... not fast, but passable.