Starting Oct. 1, the way we use credit cards will begin changing.
Oct. 1 marks the day stores are supposed to have terminals that can read the new computer-chip credit cards. But many stores don't have the terminals yet, and many consumers don't have the new cards, either.
At a New Jersey Target store, Ingrid Gonzalez is getting the hang of her new credit card.
"I have to use the chip right, and I have to leave it there," Gonzalez asked the sales clerk?
They're called EMV cards and have built-in computer chips for added security. Instead of swiping, customers have to dip them into these new terminals.
"With the other one, you swipe it so quickly. This one, you have to put the card, wait a little until it tells you," Gonzalez said.
The chip creates a unique code for every transaction and doesn't transmit personal information. That's supposed to protect consumers from a data breach like the one Target saw in 2013 because the info is worthless to hackers.
Visa and MasterCard have set Thursday as the deadline for stores to have the new terminals or face new consequences.
"They will bear the liability in case of credit card fraud, and that's a big shift because in the past banks have bore most of that liability. So, that's a big deal for merchants," Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com, said.
But a recent poll finds only 27 percent of retailers have the new, more expensive card processors, and another survey says 64 percent of credit-card users have not received the new chip cards yet.
Eric Brown recently got his in the mail.
"These being more secure, I think is reassuring," Brown said.
Consumers who haven't received the chip cards can still swipe and won't be responsible for any fraudulent charges.
The new cards really are safer and a long-needed, major step forward in fraud protection. So, when you're new card comes in the mail, embrace the change.
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