How You Use Credit Cards Changes This Week

Retailers will be liable for fraud if they don't adopt chip system
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2015 5:21 AM CDT
This Is Deadline Week for Credit Card Change
Credit and bank cards with electronic chips are seen in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Credit card purchases are about to get a little slower and a lot more secure. Consumers have been receiving new cards with fraud-prevention chips and on Thursday, a lot more retailers will be asking customers to put their card in a reader instead of swiping it, reports the Los Angeles Times. Oct. 1 is the day that the credit card industry will start shifting liability for fraudulent transactions to issuers and merchants that haven't adopted the new technology, which is already used in much of the rest of the world and is credited with dramatically reducing fraud by making it harder to duplicate cards. Cards without chips will continue to work until they expire, though experts tell the New York Times that consumers who have the choice should always opt to dip a card in a reader instead of swiping it.

The chips in the new cards use a system known as EMV, for creators Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. They contain buyer information and add an extra level of security by creating a new code for every purchase, Tech Times explains. In Europe, consumers need to enter a PIN, but US retailers will only require signatures. Around 70% of cards will have chips by the end of this year, according to the LA Times, though the full switch is expected to take years. Retailers worry that the extra few seconds per purchase will slow down businesses at peak times—and that more fraud will now take place online. "It's like closing the front door but leaving the back door open," a National Retail Federation exec tells the New York Times. "The thieves will figure out that the back door is unlocked." (More credit card stories.)

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