Next time you are queuing to pay at the supermarket, and possibly cursing why the queue is so long and there aren’t more tills open, remember that it could be much worse: much, much worse.
What if the queue wasn’t two people with full trolleys in front of you, but five; that you need to wait not for six minutes, but fifteen. To make matters worse, when you finally get to the checkout half of the items in your trolley are not recognised by the scanner and you have to leave them in the shop. Imagine that this all happens in the busy shopping weeks before Christmas. The chances are that you might run screaming from the shop never to return.
If the problem were confined just to one shop then you could avoid that shop.
But what if someone sitting deep in the basement of a grey building made this happen in ALL shops? You would have no way of avoiding this hell. That would put off even those who are enthusiastic about shopping.
The reason I am torturing you in this way is that an obscure new rule being devised by the the European Commission, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Central Bank (ECB) might be about to turn your online shopping experience into exactly this type of hell.
The people involved are all well-intentioned, of course. They want to protect consumers from fraudsters, and that is a good thing. But design by bureaucracy is almost never the way to find an effective solution for the real world.