The New “Chip” Credit Cards: What You Should Know

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Swiping your credit card could soon be a thing of the past.

Banks have been sending out new chip-enabled credit cards that have to be inserted and held in a credit card reader to complete a transaction. These new cards look similar to your old credit cards, but now have a small metallic chip on the front. Think of the chips — called EMV microchips — as mini computers.

These new “chip” credit cards are designed to protect you from identity theft and avoid thieves from stealing your credit card information. When Britain began using this chip technology, fraud losses fell 67 percent, and lost or stolen credit card fraud fell by 58 percent.

However, with this new technology experts are warning consumers of the following issue:

Be Careful To Not Lose Your Credit Card


With the old credit cards, all you had to do was swipe your credit card. The new credit card readers are different. explained the problem on their website:

  • Old way: Pull out credit card, swipe. Perhaps hand to a cashier for inspection.
  • New way: Insert the credit card in the reader. Then, wait for 5-10 seconds.

“The ‘then wait’ part is going to trip up a lot of folks. We’re not used to waiting. During those few moments, consumers are going to look up at the cash register to check the total; they are going to reach for their bags; Then, they are going to walk away, and leave the credit card still in the reader.”

“Compared to a traditional magnetic strip swipe of a credit card which may result take a second, the new chip-enabled cards will take considerably longer – approximately 5-10 seconds… there is a high risk of the consumer leaving their card behind. This issue was a documented problem in Europe where chip cards have been used for many years.”

Retailers are working on ways to prevent you from forgetting to take your card.  But, until they figure this out, try to remember to take your credit card with you.

We hope you are finding our consumer alerts useful. And, as always, if you know someone who is struggling with overdue debts, please have them call us for a bankruptcy consultation at 212-315-3755.