If your credit or debit card is embedded with a chip, you may have already noticed some changes to how you check out at some retailers: Instead of just swiping your card like you’re used to, you may have had to dip your card into another part of the point of sale system, so it can read your chip.
Then again, it’s highly likely you haven’t yet had this experience, given that most people don’t yet have EMV cards, and the majority of retailers aren’t ready to accept them, according to a recent report from Software Advice, a software consulting group. In a survey of 200 consumers (hardly a scientific sample, but still interesting), 62% said they do not have EMV-enabled credit cards, and 24% said they have one and have already used it. Many of the nation’s largest retailers have already started rolling out the new payment process, though the deadline for doing so is still a few weeks away. Only 22% of small businesses surveyed by Software Advice said they’re prepared to accept EMV cards.
That deadline means more for businesses and credit card issuers than for consumers. Come October, whichever entity has the lower security standards (i.e. non-chip cards or payment terminals that don’t accept EMV) will be liable for fraudulent card transactions. Consumers generally aren’t liable for any or all of fraudulent transactions, as long as they report them quickly.
If you don’t yet have credit or debit cards with EMV chips, you may have to wait a while. Only about half of cards will have chips by the end of 2015, according to Smart Card Alliance, a nonprofit working to advance adoption of EMV technology, as cited in the Software Advice report. Even once you start using a chip card, it’s still important to monitor your account activity for fraud — which is something that’s good to do regardless of the technology in your wallet. Credit or debit card fraud can cost you a lot, not only in terms of your account balance but also in the time it can take to resolve fraud and any further effect it may have on your finances, like if fraudulent activity is reported to the credit bureaus. In addition to checking your individual accounts for suspicious activity, it’s also a good idea to regularly monitor your credit for signs of fraud or identity theft. You can do that by getting your free credit report scores every 30 days on Credit.com.
More on Credit Cards:
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards with Rewards
- How to Get a Credit Card with Good Credit
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit