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How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season

How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season. This is the first holiday season in which a sizable portion of the American population will use EMV-enabled debit and credit cards. The new generation of cards will almost certainly reduce fraud, but they may cause consumers to purchase more slowly until they become accustomed to them. Here are some details concerning the transition to be aware of.

This isn’t going to happen over night.

The abbreviation stands for the companies that created the new chip format: Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. EMV-enabled cards are already in use in Europe, Canada, and other countries.

Throughout the year, banks in this country have started distributing new cards to consumers, albeit the process is far from complete. There will be 575 million chip cards in circulation by 2015, according to the American Bankers Association. However, they will not be available to everyone for another few of years. Read on to learn more about How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season.

For customers, the cards work a little differently.

Look for a gold or silver square or rectangle on the cover to see if you have one of the new cards. Consumers insert or “dip” their cards into terminals, face up and with the chip facing front, rather than swiping them. They must wait until all items have been rung up before completing their transaction. Clients may be asked a few questions on the terminal’s screen. A beep or instructions from the cashier will signal when the transaction is complete, and only then can you remove your card.

The processing of transactions takes a little longer. We won’t know how much longer for a while. “This will be the first holiday season after the transition,” said Rob Nichols, the American Bankers Association’s new president and CEO. “Our industry will learn a lot this holiday season.”

The more serious problem is remembering to remove your card from the machine when you’re done. You never let go of your card when swiping. This time, however, you might let go and then forget. Read on to learn more about How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season.

The new cards include small microprocessors.

Because the data on swiped cards is not encrypted, EMV cards are more secure. Additionally, the new cards incorporate microprocessors that are programmed to generate a code, or “cryptogram.” This code is communicated across the network during a transaction and is required for authorization by the bank computer on the other end. It is possible to identify and stop suspicious transactions, and each code can only be used once. The chips themselves are difficult to duplicate or falsify.

The new cards have the same fraud protections as the old ones – for customers.

Cardholders are legally liable for a maximum of $50 in fraudulent charges on credit cards, yet many institutions absorb the losses entirely. With the new system, nothing changes. “Customers are completely safe,” Nichols added.

The liability for debit cards is determined by how promptly you notify the bank. You are not liable if you file the report before any fraudulent purchases are made. After that, though, it climbs. You could be held accountable for all malicious transactions after 60 days. These liability points, however, remain unchanged.

There is, however, a liability shift for retailers who have not to equip their terminals to process the new cards. Starting in October, shops who accept swiped transactions on EMV cards that could have been handled on new terminals could risk fraud damages. One notable exemption is card readers at gas stations, which are more expensive and complex and aren’t required to complete the switch until October 2017. The banking industry and merchants are at odds over this liability adjustment and the necessity to replace terminals. Read on to learn more about How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season.

The new cards will not completely eliminate card-related fraud.

The new cards should reduce fraudulent activity in stores, but they won’t solve all of the problems. In-store transactions are safer with EMV cards, but not online transactions.

Criminals equipped with stolen account numbers and other information can still make fraudulent charges over the phone or over the Internet. As a result, consumers must continue to protect their personal information and avoid visiting dubious websites.

According to Adam Levin, chairman of Credit.com, it’s a good idea to keep the amount of credit and debit cards you take on shopping trips to a minimum. It’s also a good idea to sign up for transaction alerts from your bank or credit card company. Levin advises getting a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com to keep an eye out for unauthorized account starts.

When purchasing online, he recommends opting for encrypted sites; check for “https” rather than “http” in the browser address. He also recommends avoiding online purchasing while using public Wi-Fi, using secure and lengthy passwords, and not using the same password for several accounts.

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