Credit card chip technology begins nationwide operation

Credit cards have received a new addition to their technology and appearance with golden-colored chips, thanks in part to a mandate from Congress that hopes to provide better security to cardholders and the plastic cards they rely on.

EMV smart cards are more secure than the magnetic strip the public has been using since the ’60s. The chip makes card duplication almost impossible by using complex cryptographic algorithms and multiple layers of security to ensure financial safety and wellbeing.

The reason for the mandated switch is  the 2013 Target security breach during the Christmas season, and because of how recently it was signed into effect, few retailers actually use machines that can take payment by smart chip at this time.

To people like Kiana Miskel, senior theatre major, this new security change can be a hassle.

“I hate swiping my card and having the machine yell at me because I am not doing it the right way,” Miskel said.

Due to the government mandate, every company is reissuing their cards with the new secuirty measure.

“All Target stores have been accepting chip payments since mid-August,” said Molly Snyder, Target spokesperson. “We are in the process of reissuing all of our REDcards as chip and PIN cards now.”

Although the deadline is at the end of October, it does not guarantee that every retailer will make the switch. The deadline is more of an incentive for retailers and full implementation of EMV smart cards are not expected for a few years because fewer than 60 percent of consumers and 20 percent of small businesses have the cards.

Adrianna Pillow, sophomore business major, said she recently paid with the chip on her most recent visit to  Wal-Mart.

“It took me a while to figure out what the (credit card reader) was asking me to do,” Pillow said. “I don’t like how no one even knows about these things.”

By October 2017, the comfortability of using the card and availability of card readers should be second-nature to the public and there will be no hassle with the new technology.

About Jarrod Maas

B&T Editorial Asst.

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