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The New Chip-Equipped Credit Cards: Safer, and (For Now) More Confusing

MULTIZ321

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The New Chip Equipped Credit Cards: Safer, and (For Now) More Confusing - by Glenn Fleishman/ Technology/ FC/ fastcompany.com

"Credit-card issuers are racing to get new cards with embedded chips into customers' hands. But merchants aren't ready for the shift.

If you live in the U.S. and have a credit card, you've almost certainly received a replacement card out of the blue in the last three months, often paired with an elaborate explanatory booklet. Your new card, the booklet explains, features a special chip that will protect your transactions more effectively, reduce fraud, and make your life better. The first two parts of that statement, at least, are true.

But you won't need a PIN (personal identification number) for credit-card transactions, despite what you may have read in newspaper and magazine stories in U.S. publications over the last year. (Debit cards will still require PINs, as they do today.) The confusion over what's coming will lead to frustration, merchant liability, and potential lost sales and unexpected fraud after a rule change kicks in October 1.

Being forewarned will leave you forearmed—even as retail clerks receiving little or no training may be baffled by the basics of processing a transaction, and you encounter outdated payment systems all over..."


3049641-inline-visacard.png

A chip-equipped Visa card


Richard
 

WinniWoman

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No one in our area (Hudson Valley, NY), except Walmart, takes these cards as chip and pin. Still have to swipe.
 

tschwa2

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Walmart in our area has been using them since the beginning of summer. Target switched about 2 weeks ago.
 

"Roger"

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I have had these cards for over a year now. I had to read the article to try to figure out what I was supposed to be confused about. You stick the card in a slot and then sign. Terribly confusing.

I wish, for travel in Europe, the cards were chip and pin. Still, I did not encounter any of the difficulties that the author of the article suggested might occur in Europe. At first, I thought that I might have to explain that to merchants that it was not a chip and pin card. That was unnecessary, at least, where I used it (including some very small merchants). When the card was inserted into their reader, the reader spat out a slip for me to sign. They were used to enough Americans, this called no special surprise.

The reason for wishing that the cards were chip and pin is the one type of transaction that can cause difficulty in Europe is when you try to use the card at an unattended location (park and pay, train station during off hours, etc.) Then if you don't have a chip and pin card, you are probably out of luck.
 
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