AUSTIN, Texas — More than 6 in 10 U.S. credit cardholders still don’t have a chip-enabled credit card despite the industry’s self-imposed deadline scheduled for tomorrow, according to a new CreditCards.com report.
Starting tomorrow, if a merchant isn’t able to accept new, more secure chip cards (also known as EMV cards), that merchant could find itself liable for any losses caused by future credit card fraud incidents. (Previously, banks have absorbed most of those costs.) While most businesses are clearly behind in making these needed upgrades – BridgePay Network Solutions estimates that only 5-10% of U.S. retailers are ready to accept EMV cards – the new CreditCards.com survey shows that banks aren’t holding to their own deadline either.
The credit card industry announced the deadline almost two years ago in an effort to improve data security and close the gap with other countries, particularly in Europe and Asia, which have used the more secure chip cards for years.
“This is the biggest change in decades in how credit cards are used in America, so we shouldn’t be surprised that things are moving slowly,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “One thing that won’t change, however, is consumer liability. If you report bogus charges promptly, you likely won’t be out any money.”
What is changing?
Instead of swiping a card’s magnetic stripe through a payment terminal, consumers dip their chip card into the terminal and leave it there for a few seconds. The machine reads the chip, produces a temporary validation code and asks for the consumer’s signature or PIN. Many merchants have cried foul, citing the time and cost associated with upgrading to new EMV-friendly terminals, but the October 1 deadline has been unchanged despite their protests.
So who does have these cards?
- Credit cardholders with annual income over $75,000 are more than twice as likely to have an EMV card as members of lower income brackets.
- Credit cardholders with college degrees are more than twice as likely to have an EMV card as those with less education.
- Urban and suburban credit cardholders are more likely than rural cardholders to have an EMV card.
CreditCards.com conducted a similar survey in late January and found 31% of U.S. credit cardholders had a chip-enabled card. If you haven’t yet received a new chip card to replace your old credit card, you’ve got options:
- Contact your issuer: Call or email your bank and ask them when you can expect to get your new card.
- Apply for a new card: There are dozens of them available at CreditCards.com.
- Relax: No need to worry. All the new EMV terminals will still work with your old magnetic stripe card, so just be patient. Your new card should come by year’s end.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). More information is available here:
PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,004 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (1,001) and cell phone (1,003, including 601 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from September 3-20. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
CreditCards.com, named a “Best Site for Managing Your Credit” by MSN Money, is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America’s leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2014, over 22 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.