What to Expect from Your New Security Chip Credit Card
Now that the US is moving to the same EMV credit card technology used in much of the rest of the world, cardholders are beginning to receive credit cards with computer chips in them. If you’ve never shopped with this type of card before, it’s natural to wonder whether shopping will be more difficult or if things will stay business as usual. Read on to learn about what you can expect when you use a new security chip credit card.
Less fraudulent activity
Although credit cards have made everything from paying for a meal to ordering clothes online more convenient, they also open consumers up to the significant risk of fraudulent activity. While EMV credit cards can’t eliminate all fraud, they can vastly reduce the way criminals can use your card information.
Here’s the problem: Criminals have gotten good at quickly skimming the information from your card’s magnetic strip in order to make counterfeit cards that they can use until you get your statement and report the problem. Once you use a security chip credit card, the chip will create a unique transaction code for every purchase that can never be used again. If criminals get ahold of these codes and use them on counterfeit cards, the cards simply won’t work.
Longer approval times
Of course, reducing fraud is a behind-the-scenes change that you really won’t notice. What you can expect to deal with when making an in-store purchase is that each transaction will take slightly longer. Not only will it take a little longer for the chip to generate the unique transaction code, but it’s also to be expected that some amount of user error will occur in the early days of the security chip credit card.
Since most people are used to swiping their card through the payment terminal, you may still have this habit even though you know you need to insert your card into the terminal instead. When this occurs, the terminal must first recognize that you have a chip-embedded card and then prompt you to insert the card before it can process the transaction. Ultimately, it won’t add a lot of time to each transaction, but it may still be frustrating until you’re used to it.
Make purchases easier while traveling
One of the true beauties of having a security chip credit card is that they’ve been using the EMV technology for years in Europe and Canada. In the past, travelers with magnetic strip cards would have to run to an ATM to get cash to pay for most things abroad. Once you’re using the same credit card technology as the rest of the world, making international purchases will be much easier.
Not all merchants are ready
Depending on when you receive your first security chip credit card, you may find that the businesses you shop at the most simply aren’t prepared to interact with chip-embedded cards. Credit card issuers realize this and will still place a magnetic strip on cards during the transition, so you can swipe your card as you normally would to pay. The only downfall of swiping your card instead of dipping the chip is that you won’t get the benefit of the enhanced security that comes with the computer chip.
Once more cardholders have at least one security chip credit card in their wallet, the merchants holding out will likely come around to the new way of accepting credit cards. Until that happens, stay vigilant about safeguarding your credit card information and reviewing the statements for fraudulent purchases each month.
8 FAQs about EMV Credit Cards. CreditCards.com.