Chipped credit cards now the rule, not exception

Posted at 11:17 PM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 01:17:30-04

Have you used your new credit card yet? The one with that shiny silver or gold chip?
Once the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, Oct. 1, if retailers aren’t using the new chip credit card readers, the liability falls on them for counterfeit and stolen cards.

On the eve of the deadline, there was plenty of drama.

Many stores are not happy about the change – calling the chip card system too slow and too expensive. And banks admit, only about half of Americans have received the new chip cards in place of their old ones.

Mom and pop shops also complain about the costs associated with installing the new system. In some cases, upwards of $10,000.

“It’s very new for us," said Justin Klomp, president of Denver’s Trice Jewelers. “Some customers don’t know what to do with it. We have had people say, ‘What's going on with my card?’”

For those unfamiliar with the process of ‘dipping’ their card instead of swiping, the process can take much longer.

"It's just confusing at first,” said consumer Karen Ross. “You just enter it and (the machine) tells you, 'Don't take it out.'"

Big box retailers like Target have used the chip readers for several weeks with mixed reviews.

“I think the security benefits outweigh any of the concerns with time," said Target shopper Zach Cooley.

“I definitely like it a lot better. It feels more secure,” said Target shopper Jade Newman. “But it takes a few seconds longer to process the transaction.”

Trice was working on installing the last of its new chip readers on Wednesday.

"Now, all of the sudden, we have to get trained to learn how to walk all over again," said Klomp.

Kenneth Salazar is the CEO of the secure payment company Silver Edge.
He explains, unlike the old mag stripe readers that aren't as secure because they transmit your card number, the chip card reader does something entirely different with your card.

“With the EMV chip transaction, there's only a unique authentication code that's created at every transaction," said Salazar. “That makes it nearly impossible for your information to be stolen. Your credit card number is not transmitted.”

One of the main drawbacks is the time it takes for the transaction to be approved -- nearly 20 seconds in most of our tests at Trice.

Because of that, experts expect the use of Apple Pay or Android Pay, where you store your card in your phone, to take off.

That’s a process that takes just two to five seconds.

At Trice, Klomp believes it will all be worth the transition.

"We want to make sure that our customers come into Trice knowing that when they use their card with us, their data is secure," he said.

The bottom line, if retailers don’t make the change, they are on the hook for theft.

“Trice, for example, would incur the losses and the risk of that transaction,” said Salazar. “Where, historically, that risk fell on the card issuing bank, now the merchant assumes that risk and liability.”

“By [Thursday], we'll be ready to go,” Klomp said.