It is coming up on the year anniversary of the EMV microchip for credit cards. Since then, almost everyone has shifted toward "the chip." Almost 80% of MasterCards are microchipped, and the numbers are similar for Visa and other cards.
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But there is a problem - so many retailers haven't installed the proper equipment to handle the chip.
There are a lot of people who are just confused about the chip since there really wasn't a lot of education to retailers or users. Most retailers didn't want to change in the early stages because of the holiday season, and then they just kind of forgot about it.
Merchants who already had the terminals set up had to wait months for a qualified technician to certify it. They were then liable for any orders that were fraudulent during that time - costing them a lot of money.
Now, customers are facing a messy patchwork when they go to pay. Sometimes you have to swipe. Sometimes you have to dip it. Sometimes you can use your phone. Then there are a lot of different wait times and machines that just don't work. The upgrades simply aren't happening quickly enough.
The only thing that really feels familiar to customers is the signature.
The biggest problem? The US cards still aren't quite as secure as in other countries.
So far, the cost has been to both merchants and customers, according to Recode.
The hope is that everyone will stick with the chip to cut back on fraud. The old magnetic strips were far too easy to copy and 50% of global fraud came from them. When the rest of the world switched, the US became a target for criminals.
Still, fraud is already down in the United States among stores that use the chip technology.