A smarter credit card: Consumers to be issued new ‘chip cards,’ aimed at stopping fraud

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MILWAUKEE -- If you've ever had your credit card information stolen, you know it's a horrible feeling. To fight fraud, changes are coming on October 1st. New credit cards will be issued -- and they come with a small computer chip.

It's a system that's been in use for years around the world.

Europe and Canada have been using the new computer chip cards for years, cutting fraud by up to 80 percent.

chips

Preview of new chip cards

"What we've seen is as other markets get chip cards, the fraudsters move their attention the United States," said Carolyn Balfay with MasterCard. "Now is a really good time for the U.S. to upgrade."

If banks and retailers don't make the switch over to the new card reader machines by the deadline, they'll be on the hook for bad transactions.

Many banks are sending out letters to their customers to let them know new credit cards are on the way.

The cards work differently than a traditional credit card. Instead of swiping the card, it is inserted into a reader.

machine

New chip card reader

You'll then be asked for either a signature or a pin number.

Once that's done, the new machines will create a one-time transaction number.

That means if a scammer hacks the system, they won't see your credit card number. Instead, they'll just see a bunch of useless transaction numbers.

Many merchants are behind the times. The Better Business Bureau expects only about 40% of merchants in the country to be compliant by the deadline.

So, consumers should look out for retailers who have the new chip readers.

And once you upgrade, your new credit card should still work with old machines.

The credit card industry is paying for the upgrade, hoping to save billions by stopping fraud.

If you would like to learn more about these new chip cards, the industry has put up a website explaining how to use them and why they are more secure. CLICK HERE to access that website.

2 comments

  • Resident

    I have yet to find a place that actually lets you use the EMV card the way it is designed. Everywhere that I have been that have the terminals to accept them still have you swipe the magnetic as the chip reader is not set up. What is the point if no retailers are going to comply as if I swipe the card I’m still open to the same fraud as before.

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