Chip-enabled credit cards are rolling out across America this month. While it might not be obvious at first, the new cards are actually more secure than ever before. Here are some of the reasons why paying with plastic is about to get even safer.
Chips Are More Secure Than Magstripes
With older credit cards, the magnetic stripe on the back—also known as a magstripe—was a target for counterfeiters intent on stealing card data. The data contained on a magstripe never changes, and once it’s stolen, it can be converted into cash on the black market. But credit cards with embedded computer chips create a unique code every time a transaction occurs that cannot be used again, making security breaches far less likely.
Paying Is Easy
To pay with a chip card, simply insert the chip end into the merchant’s terminal and then provide your signature as you normally would. (If you make purchases with your magstripe card that don’t require a signature, like payments of $50 or under at the grocery store, you won’t need to sign when using your new chip-enabled card, either.) If the terminal is not yet compatible with chip credit cards, you can still use the magstripe on your new card to swipe for payment.
What If Retailers Don’t Have Chip Terminals?
As of October 1, 2015, if a retailer doesn’t have a chip terminal available, it will accept liability for any fraudulent purchases that occur. Similarly, any credit card company that does not provide its customers with chip cards by October 1 will also be liable for fraudulent purchases.
The Same Great Features
Worried about whether you’ll be able to use your new chip card the same way you used your old credit card? Well, worry no more. Your new chip card can be used for all the same purchases you made on your old card. That means phone and Internet transactions will still be valid. All you need is your card number, expiration date and security code, and you’re good to go!
A credit card is convenient whether you’re shopping in-store or online. GEICO Identity Protection can help you with an extra layer of security.
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By Greg Dalgetty