What you need to know about new chip credit cards

(File photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thursday marks the deadline for the shift to chip credit cards, a more secure alternative to traditional cards with a magnetic swipe. Experts said Thursday is a soft-deadline for retailers and banks to switch to new technology.

The new cards use a chip instead of a magnetic stripe. Consumers will now dip the card into the machine, instead of swiping it. This process will take a little bit longer, because the card stays in the machine for the whole transaction. Experts said the process could take two to ten seconds longer. Analysts said with that extra time, comes extra security.

This change comes after a series of high-profile security breaches, including Target, Home Depot and others. It’s easier to hack your information from the magnetic stripe. In central Indiana, there have been reports of skimming machines and other devices that can easily steal your information.

Now, all your personal information is stored on a chip. The chips hold payment data and give each transaction and individual code, adding an extra layer of security. This will likely take some time to get used to. Some people won’t know how to use their new card, and others may do it incorrectly. Shoppers could be waiting in line a little longer than usual.

“It’s the biggest change in the way we use credit cards in decades, and people aren’t ready yet. There’s a lot of confusion out there,” said Matt Schulz with CreditCards.com.

Even though the deadline is October 1, a recent survey showed more than 60-percent of Americans do not have their new chip cards. If you’re one of them, don’t worry, your old card will still work.The new machines will still take the old cards, and the new cards still have a stripe so they’ll work on old machines. The survey also showed about 30 percent of retailers have the new machines set up.  Starting Thursday, the bank or the store — whichever side did not upgrade — will be held liable for any fraud losses.

Even with the safer chip card, you should still take precautions to keep your information away from hackers.

“Consumers definitely have to take the same precautions that they’ve been taking for years, even with this new chip card. Because the most important thing to remember is that nobody cares as much about your money as you do,” said Schulz.

Experts said consumers should always monitor their bank statements and report any suspicious activity. If you haven’t received your new card yet, you can call your bank and ask when it will arrive. You can also call and request a new card. Any new cards issued will be chip cards.

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