Change is almost always a good thing, even if it be a tad uncomfortable at first. The same can be said about the new chip enabled credit cards in the US. It might take a bit of effort from the customers as well as merchants, but switching to the new credit cards is secure, reliable and will help curb credit card fraud to a very large extent. Tech blogger Ann Neal explains.
And the change is fairly small, as there are just a few differences in the way you will be using them. So here are a few things you need to know about these chip enabled cards that will help you demystify this new technology and feel at ease using the new cards.
1. ‘Dip-the-chip’ instead of ‘swipe-the-stripe’
The new chip-based cards sport a small chip right at the top where the credit card number is displayed. You will need to insert the card in the card reader’s slot and let it stay there while you wait for the transaction to complete. You will take it out when prompted and follow it by either entering a pin or signing the receipt.
This might feel like a bit of a drag and may take a little getting used to, but there’s really not that much of a difference in the transaction time. Just the act of leaving the card in the machine and waiting for the prompt to take it out gives you the feeling of a long wait. Don’t worry about it though, it’s okay really.
2. The magstripe isn’t leaving you just yet
The trusty magnetic strip (magstripe) that you have been used to swiping all these years will still remain on your card so don’t worry about that. Getting every single store and shop out there to switch to EMV card readers will take some time so the magstripe will still be used where the new card reader isn’t available. However, if the card is being swiped but the chip reading option is available, you will be prompted to use the chip instead.
3. The chip is safe, secure and tested
This may look like a new technology for the countries that are late at adopting the EMV cards, but these have been widely in use in Europe for over 20 years now, and have had far lesser instances of fraud compared to traditional magstripe cards. Chip data, being dynamic, is much harder to hack into, making them safer for transactions. That is why consumers and businesses must adopt EMV chip-based payments as soon as possible.
4. These chip enabled cards are the future
“As of 20th March, almost 70% of MasterCard credit cards have chips on them. By the end of 2017, it will be almost 100%,” said Catherine Murchie, Senior Vice President, MasterCard. Clearly, chip-based payment is the future and adopting this new technology is the way forward. Unanimous adoption by consumers as well as merchants is the key to achieving penetrating success against counterfeit fraud, hacking and other fraudulent activities associated with credit cards. The earlier you get on board with them, the better.
5. Nothing will change on the online shopping front
If you are shopping online, there will be no change in the way you transact. You will still provide your card number, CVV number and a ‘One Time Password (OTP)’ or security number. Continue to follow the same precautions you have been following while shopping online, never reveal your pin number and you should be fine.
6. You will continue to use the magstripe on petrol stations for a while
Because replacing card readers at all fuel pumps across nations will take some more time, you will be able to continue using the traditional swipe-and-pay method at petrol stations. So no matter where you are, don’t worry about refuelling.
7. It’s OK if your new card hasn’t arrived yet
The roll-out is gradual and in case you haven’t received your new chip enabled card yet, do not worry. You can continue using your old card without any worries, until your new card arrives. Do remember to destroy the old card though, as soon as you receive the new one.
8. You are still protected from card theft the same way
There will be no changes as far as your safety is concerned. If you suspect fraud on your card, get in touch with the card issuer immediately and seek help. If you call in and report theft the moment your card goes missing, you will not be liable of any fraudulent charges. You will be liable for a $50.00 charge if any fraudulent transactions are made before you call in reporting theft.
9. Your neighbourhood retailer may not have the new card readers yet
The roll-out of the new card readers with the latest technology is still in active process so if your nearest retailer doesn’t have the new lintech card reader yet, you can just continue swiping the magnetic stripe on your card without a worry, and transition to the new one when it arrives.
10. Chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature
Some of the new chip-based credit cards will require you to sign your purchase receipt like the old magstripe cards, and some will need you to enter a PIN. The best way to know which one yours is, is to simply call up and ask your bank. Be prepared to sign though, as that’s what it’s going to be in most cases. In some cases, the chip-and-signature card may not work when you are abroad, so be sure to check that up with your bank if you are planning to travel overseas, and get a chip-and-PIN card if required.
While the new chip-based credit cards will change the way you shop a little, they won’t shake up your world and there is absolutely nothing to be too anxious about. If anything, you should rest assured that your transactions are far more secure now against fraud and theft. The above pointers should help answer any questions you had and make the adoption of new cards easier.