EMV chip cards are everywhere in the United States. They come with many benefits – including reduction of card fraud and safer transactions – but you may still have questions about chips, how they work and impact your life.
Many of us already know the basic six things to know about chip cards, so here are six more things worth knowing about chip cards:
1) Why should I pay with a chip card?
The chip on the front of your card protects your personal information much better than the magnetic stripe on the back. When you buy something, the chip on your card “talks” with the chip in the terminal, creating unique codes for each purchase. These unique codes help protect you against counterfeit card fraud. As of July 2016, 88 percent of Mastercard U.S. consumer credit cards have chips.
You don’t think twice about putting on sunscreen before spending a day at the beach. Using a chip card should seem just as natural when it comes to keeping your money and financial information safe.
2) Is paying with a chip card really that much safer?
Yes, it’s safer for both you and the stores where you shop. No one likes finding out their card has been compromised or their information stolen and the use of chip cards helps prevent this.
Think of chip cards as an evolution in security – like bike helmets. There was probably a time when you swore you’d never wear one, but now we know they keep us safe in the event of an bike accident. Chip cards keep us safe and reduce U.S. counterfeit card fraud by hundreds of millions of dollars.
3) What else do chips do?
Chip card technology (EMV) is the foundation that enables our world beyond plastic, where we shop and pay the way we want with a simple tap, click or touch in-store, online or on a mobile device.
Think of chip cards as another evolution in security – like TV parental controls. It’s a technology advancement that we learn to use the first time but ultimately protects what (and who) matter to us.
4) Why do some stores accept chip cards and others don’t?
Figuring out whether to insert or swipe your card at any given store is frustrating. But more and more stores are updating to new chip terminals.
5) Why does it take longer at some terminals to process the payments?
The chip in the terminal and the chip on your card create unique codes for purchases and this takes just a few seconds longer. However, as you’ve probably experienced first-hand, transaction times vary from store to store.
Believe me, everyone – merchants, shopper, clerks – all want to keep the lines moving. The process will feel more natural in time but, as with anything new, there is an adjustment period.
6) Is chip card adoption actually working in preventing fraud?
Yes, counterfeit card fraud at chip-activated merchants fell by 54 percent in April 2016 as compared with the same period a year ago.
For more information on chip cards and staying safe in stores and online, check out Leah Ingram’s article in Parade, How to Shop Safely With Chip Credit Cards.