Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ready or Not, EMV Credit Cards Thrust Onto Retailers

Flickr: Creative Commons

Starting Thursday retailers across the country will need to be able to accept a new kind of credit card, or they could be liable for fraudulent charges. 

You might not have noticed it yet, but there’s a new kind of credit card out there. It’s called an EMV card and it has an electronic chip embedded in it that helps make transactions more secure.

“What you’ll do is that you’ll put it in the machine and instead of reading a static number like you see on the back of your magnetic strip you’re going to have a unique identifying code just for that transaction. So, it makes the ability to in essence clone a card extremely difficult.”

That’s David Gill. He’s the vice-president for corporate services at Zions Bank. He says they’ve been working hard to prepare their clients to be able to accept these new cards before October 1st.  That’s when liability for fraudulent credit card purchases becomes the responsibility of retailers.

“And so everybody’s got to make some changes," he says. "The card issuing banks have to issue those cards with the technology as well you have to have machines that read that.”

Catherine Weller runs Weller Book Works in Trolley Square. She says they’ve been working on transitioning for the past year, and had to weigh the costs of new equipment with the likelihood of accepting a fraudulent card.

“Whether I’ve experienced fraud in the past or not, I’m all for upgrading security," she says. "So, I’m good with that. That said, the investment in new hardware is not insubstantial for a small business. The new hardware I’ve had to purchase is a good chunk of change.”

EMV cards, or chip cards have been widely used in Europe for several years. The United States is one of the last industrialized countries to begin using them. 

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.