What Do Chip Cards Mean For You?
Jackie here. October 1st brought about a big deadline for the new EMV (also called “Chip and PIN”) cards, but what does this really mean for you, the consumer? Let’s explore the changes that took place and find out how they’ll change credit card processing.
The changes impact all major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) and all merchants that use them. The new cards are more difficult to counterfeit and are expected to slow the losses from credit card breaches and card cloning. Chip cards feature an added layer of protection when compared with cards that only have a magnetic strip. If a thief gets the number to your card, they may be unable to use it. This switch is intended to cut down on credit card fraud.
About the October 1st Deadline?
October 1st was a big deadline for merchants, financial companies, and card processors. The deadline required that all merchants and all financial institutions start using EMV technology. The deadline has come and gone, but if you’re like me, you probably haven’t seen much of a change. I can still swipe my card at many merchants and even have some cards without a chip.
While the deadline was a big one for merchants and card providers, it doesn’t really impact consumers as much as you’d think. However, businesses that haven’t made the deadline could be taking on big liabilities should fraud occur. If a counterfeit card is used, the party that is least EMV compliant will be responsible for the losses. This means that your bank will be stuck with the loss if they haven’t issued a card or the merchant will be responsible if they don’t have a payment terminal that processes the card.
What Changes Are Coming?
The October 1st deadline applied to most merchants, but outdoor terminals at gas stations are exempt until 2017. Expect to continue swiping your card at the pump in the near future. If your card hasn’t yet been upgraded, you’ll likely see a new one, complete with a chip soon. Right now, cards feature both a chip and a magnetic stripe, but future cards may rely solely on the chip function as systems are upgraded. We may also see the PIN function being used more often. Most of the new cards function as chip and signature cards, which are less secure than using a PIN.
Are you using an EMV card?