Is your credit card secure? How to get latest chip and dip technology

Currently, only 40 percent of consumers have credit cards with the chip EMV technology, the new industry standard.

Matt Rourke/AP
Even as an October 1 deadline arrives to switch Americans over to credit cards embedded with chips, shown in this June 10 photo, the vast majority still does not have the new cards and only some are using them as intended, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.

Thursday marks the deadline for US credit card industry and merchants to make a transition to cards with chip technology, but only about 40 percent of consumers currently possess a card with the EMV chip.

Working in conjunction with PIN codes, the chip technology help prevent identity theft. The cards are dipped into a card reader instead of swiped, and they make it difficult for thieves to make copies. Europe has already widely adopted the technology.

As Virginia C. McGuire of Nerdwallet wrote for The Christian Science Monitor:

With EMV cards – named for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, which developed the technology – information is encrypted and stored on a microchip embedded in your card, which makes it much harder to 'skim' data off your card. Also, when you use an EMV card for a transaction, the merchant’s computers don’t save your account information, protecting you in the event of a data breach.

The deadline this week doesn’t mandate the credit card companies to have the cards in the wallets of consumers – it just requires issuers and retailers to assume greater liability.

"We were expecting a little bigger number, but we also understood that this is going to be a long process," Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, tells the Associated Press of the number of people with the new chip cards.

About a quarter of stores in the United States can accept the cards, which comprise 40 percent of all US-branded consumer credit cards, according to MasterCard.

Mr. Schulz says you’ll likely see the new payment stations at national stores like Target or Home Depot. At retailers without the dip reader, chip cards can still be swiped.

CreditCard.com also found that the people most likely to have the new cards are those with annual income over $75,000 — they’re more than twice as likely to have a chip card than people with lower incomes.

Schulz says this is because the earliest adopters of chip cards are frequent international travelers.

For cardholders who want a chip card as soon as possible, they can call and request one directly from their credit card company. If not, they should receive a new card in the mail at some point. More information is available on the industry website.

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.