We noticed this over the holidays, and since then as well.

Several retailers have decided that using the EMV chip readers as part of the checkout process is simply too time consuming and does not win friends with consumers who are stuck standing in line while they wait.

NACS – National Association of Convenience Stores – did a write up about the situation on their website.  

From the article –

“Although that particular CVS location probably thought it was doing its customers a favor by speeding up the lines and transaction time, disabling its EMV card readers would make it liable “for any fraud that occurs as a result of card swipes there—a change that went into effect on October 1,” Forbes writes.”

Well, yes, duh.  We are 100% positive that a company as well versed in technology and payment systems as CVS would completely understand the consequences of their actions.  Frankly, the banks and card companies don’t seem to understand the realities of running a retail business with real, life consumers – the kind who don’t particularly relish standing in line for an extra minute or two – PER CUSTOMER – to reduce their retailers’ liability in a card transaction situation.