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PSA: Credit Cards and Debit Cards in USA with Chips


Lanny
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I saw a segment on the TV news last night that these cards are now being introduced in the USA. The Chip embedded in them is much better, for fraud protection, than the old cards with a magnetic stripe.

 

NOTE: When you place a card with a chip in it, into an ATM machine, DO NOT remove the card until the machine tells you to do so. 

 

Also, our bank, years ago, in a newsletter, said that one should never use an ATM machine unless they have a working cell phone with them.

 

Twice this year, I have arrived at my favorite ATM machine, and discovered that someone who got there before me had their card in the ATM machine and couldn't get it out. In that kind of situation, one needs a working cell phone and patience, until someone comes to  get their card out of the ATM machine.  I'm thankful I wasn't the one whose card was being held by the machine!

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We've had a chip in our credit card since we went to Ireland in 2013 and wanted to be able to do the chip and pin thing so we'd know we'd be able to pay anywhere and not just places that still allowed swiping over there.  It was a big pain to get one back then.  We've been able to do the chip thing at a few places, mostly very close to the border, in Texas before now.  It's about time the US switches over!

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I have atm and credit cards with chips before y2k in asia. Its the norm there. At the card readers, only the chip part of the card need to be inserted so the atm actually doesn't need to "swallow" the card like the Wells Fargo atm does for the magnetic strip.

 

Last year citi replace my credit card to one with chip without asking. Some stores have the chip reader already but most don't

 

There used to be courtesy phones at the citibank atm lobby at the banks around here for customers to call for help.

 

A couple of my cards have the chip now, but they also still have the magnetic strip. Not sure if that is an improvement or just opening me up for twice the risk of fraud. I suppose it's a transition.

Not all the stores have the chip reader yet which is why the newer cards with chips still have the magnetic strip.
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The Merchants will need to get new terminals that can handle the cards with Chips, or they will eventually be unable to handle transactions, when the customer pays with a card that has a chip. That shouldn't be a problem for large merchants, but some mom and pop stores may not want to pay for the new technology. The cards with Chips are much better at preventing fraud. Good to see the USA going to this technology. I am surprised that it wasn't implemented there years ago,  but better late than never.

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Unfortunately, we aren't getting the full "chip & pin" system for some reason like they have in Europe and other places.  Without both components, if I'm understanding correctly, it isn't really going to help with fraud all that much.  We'll have a "chip & signature" which isn't all that different than what we do now.

 

What is changing is that things are starting to shift to merchant liability for fraudulent use of cards instead of bank liability.  Right now, merchants don't really care who uses the card because they get their money either way and the banks have to pay for fraud.  But, if the merchant is liable it seems like they will be trying to make sure whomever is using the card is actually authorized to use it.

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Unfortunately, we aren't getting the full "chip & pin" system for some reason like they have in Europe and other places. Without both components, if I'm understanding correctly, it isn't really going to help with fraud all that much. We'll have a "chip & signature" which isn't all that different than what we do now.

Target is sending out Mastercards which would be chip and pin according to the letter they send out to current Target Visa cardholders. We would need to key in the card pin when paying.

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I saw a segment on the TV news last night that these cards are now being introduced in the USA. The Chip embedded in them is much better, for fraud protection, than the old cards with a magnetic stripe.

 

NOTE: When you place a card with a chip in it, into an ATM machine, DO NOT remove the card until the machine tells you to do so.

 

Also, our bank, years ago, in a newsletter, said that one should never use an ATM machine unless they have a working cell phone with them.

 

Twice this year, I have arrived at my favorite ATM machine, and discovered that someone who got there before me had their card in the ATM machine and couldn't get it out. In that kind of situation, one needs a working cell phone and patience, until someone comes to get their card out of the ATM machine. I'm thankful I wasn't the one whose card was being held by the machine!

You just brought back a memory. I was a kid and I went to the atm with my dad. When he was done with the transaction, his card wouldn't come out because it was slightly warped and the edge kept getting caught. My dad is cursing and trying to find a way to pop it out, when suddenly the glass starts coming down over the atm and the screen reads that the atm is closed. Remember that? The old school ATMs that had the clear screens?

 

Anyhow, the memory fades from there. It's all awash in early 80's colors. That glass coming down is set in slow motion in my mind- the last bit of panic and profanities from my dad.

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Unfortunately, we aren't getting the full "chip & pin" system for some reason like they have in Europe and other places.  Without both components, if I'm understanding correctly, it isn't really going to help with fraud all that much.  We'll have a "chip & signature" which isn't all that different than what we do now.

 

What is changing is that things are starting to shift to merchant liability for fraudulent use of cards instead of bank liability.  Right now, merchants don't really care who uses the card because they get their money either way and the banks have to pay for fraud.  But, if the merchant is liable it seems like they will be trying to make sure whomever is using the card is actually authorized to use it.

 

Supposedly merchant liability became effective October 1.  If the merchant's credit card terminal is not one of the new chip devices, then the merchant will be liable for fraudulent card use if the card used was a chip card. 

 

The stores where I have shopped recently that require me to insert my chip card into the reader rather than swiping it:

 

Target

Value Village

 

The grocery stores where I have shopped this month are still "swipe only" even though some of them clearly have terminals that are set up to insert chip cards. 

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All I can say is that the noise Target's card readers make is super annoying, though they seem to have reduced the volume on it.

 

Also, they super obnoxiously replaced our Amex card by only sending a new one with a chip to dh and canceling mine, which meant I was stuck at Costco with a giant thing of groceries and no way to pay for them because I didn't have my atm card on me. I'm so canceling that card as soon as Costco starts taking other cards...

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I was surprised that Walmart is taking the chipped card.  They like to wait until everyone else has the technology and then they jump on board (much more cheaply).

 

My Kroger appears to have a chipped card reader, but it only lets me swipe my card.

 

Finding this discussion very interesting, and I'm not sure why!

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I was talking to the check out person at Trader Joe's and she said that they haven't finished the programming to activate the chip readers on their credit card terminals.  I've only found a couple of places that use the chip readers (despite clearly having the hardware.)  But none of those required a pin.  I suppose this should be a reminder to activate a pin on my accounts :). 

 

The chip readers are not terribly expensive, but they are slow to roll out.  I've been waiting for the past month for Square to get me my chip reader. I am willing to pay the $50 to not have to accept the liability for fraud (but, to be honest, book lovers tend to be a more honest bunch.)

 

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All I can say is that the noise Target's card readers make is super annoying, though they seem to have reduced the volume on it.

 

Also, they super obnoxiously replaced our Amex card by only sending a new one with a chip to dh and canceling mine, which meant I was stuck at Costco with a giant thing of groceries and no way to pay for them because I didn't have my atm card on me. I'm so canceling that card as soon as Costco starts taking other cards...

 

 

You brought back a memory for me. This was probably about 16 years ago in the superstore where we shopped for years, when we lived near there.. I do the majority of our grocery shopping (I am usually a very good shopper and my wife is a shopaholic by her own admission).  It was near Christmas as I recall and after waiting in line for quite awhile, after the checker processed all of the things I had packed into the shopping cart, I handed her a credit card. There was no authorization. I handed her another credit card. There was no authorization. I went to the office with the cashier, where the cashiers go, and they tried it and there was no authorization. After awhile, I realized that it wasn't me. Nobody was getting authorizations for card purchases.  Whatever cash I had on me was insufficient to pay. I walked out of the store, without anything I had shopped for.   Fortunately, that was a one time experience... I went back to the same store, 1 or 2 days later, selected the same items, and there was no problem paying with the same credit card.   It was a glitch in the system for authorizations or a failure of communications, between the store in Cali and the HQ in Bogota. We were well known in that store (not a lot of "Gringos" shop there) and it was a little embarrassing, but it wasn't my fault.  They were surprised, when I walked out of the store, without the groceries, but I had no way to pay for them due to the system failure.

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This is from an email I received from our bank in Colombia on 21 August 2015. 

 

Desde este mes no tendrás que firmar tus recibos de compra ni entregar tus datos personales si tu medio de pago es una tarjeta débito, ya que al digitar la clave entendemos que quien realiza la transacción eres tú.

 

This is about the use of Debit cards.   I ran that  through translate.google.com and here's the result:

 

Since this month will not have to watch your receipts or deliver your personal data if your method of payment is a debit card as typing the key to understand that the person making the transaction is you.

 

Basically, I believe what they were saying is that if you pay with a Debit card, you do not need to sign anything or provide any identification (Your "Cedula" (National identity card)) you just key in your PIN number in the little POS (Point of Sale) terminal and they know it is the cardholder. 

 

I don't pay with a Debit card, so I haven't tried that.

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All I can say is that the noise Target's card readers make is super annoying, ...

 

This!!  And it is not just Target.  I've commented on the awful noise to a couple of the stores.  I understand the need to make a beep or something to remind the shopper to take their card but yikes. 

 

I do not know why we are not going to chip and pin.  Chip and signature (or chip and nothing for totals under a certain price) certainly is short-changing the security options.  

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Chip cards are now mandatory in the u.s. We have a small business in California and had to be switched over to chip technology wth the deadline of October. I think they gave us til the 15th. Otherwise, we'd be penalized and we wouldn't be able to accept credit cards. Mandatory for all companies and All credit cards are being reissued with the chip. Our merchant processor upgraded our credit card processor with new chip enabled technology. Fortunately we had written into our contract when we upgraded a year or so ago, for a free upgrade. They knew the changes were coming.

 

As it stands when you make a purchase, you have to insert your card in the reader and wait til the purchase is approved before removing it. The card is inserted into the pin reader. There is still the choice of doing atm or credit. And depending on the merchant, no signature is needed for credit purchase under $25.

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I'm not understanding how this is supposed to help anything. 

 

The only store where I've had to put my card in instead of swiping is Old Navy, and it always tells me to take out the card, then tells me to swipe it.  :confused1:   As far as I know, this card doesn't have a new pin involved since they sent me the chip card, and I sign like regular on the screen after I swipe.

 

I do understand having both a chip and strip while stores are transitioning, but don't understand how I'm safer by having to run the card both ways.  This is not just one branch or one visit, either - it's several stores in different cities.

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This is from an email I received from our bank in Colombia on 21 August 2015. 

 

Desde este mes no tendrás que firmar tus recibos de compra ni entregar tus datos personales si tu medio de pago es una tarjeta débito, ya que al digitar la clave entendemos que quien realiza la transacción eres tú.

 

This is about the use of Debit cards.   I ran that  through translate.google.com and here's the result:

 

Since this month will not have to watch your receipts or deliver your personal data if your method of payment is a debit card as typing the key to understand that the person making the transaction is you.

 

Basically, I believe what they were saying is that if you pay with a Debit card, you do not need to sign anything or provide any identification (Your "Cedula" (National identity card)) you just key in your PIN number in the little POS (Point of Sale) terminal and they know it is the cardholder. 

 

I don't pay with a Debit card, so I haven't tried that.

 

Lanny, why didn't you just translate it yourself instead of using google.com?  You did a much better job. 

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Chip cards are now mandatory in the u.s. We have a small business in California and had to be switched over to chip technology wth the deadline of October. I think they gave us til the 15th. Otherwise, we'd be penalized and we wouldn't be able to accept credit cards. Mandatory for all companies and All credit cards are being reissued with the chip. Our merchant processor upgraded our credit card processor with new chip enabled technology. Fortunately we had written into our contract when we upgraded a year or so ago, for a free upgrade. They knew the changes were coming.

 

As it stands when you make a purchase, you have to insert your card in the reader and wait til the purchase is approved before removing it. The card is inserted into the pin reader. There is still the choice of doing atm or credit. And depending on the merchant, no signature is needed for credit purchase under $25.

This is puzzling to me. Of the 4 major CCs I currently hold, only one has been replaced with a chip card, and I've only encountered 2 or 3 places that have chip readers yet. Of those, Walmart is one, and the stupid card has managed to cause me no end of problems at the self-checkout. On one occasion it completely froze the system and my groceries had to be rescanned on a different machine.

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I'm not understanding how this is supposed to help anything. 

 

The only store where I've had to put my card in instead of swiping is Old Navy, and it always tells me to take out the card, then tells me to swipe it.  :confused1:   As far as I know, this card doesn't have a new pin involved since they sent me the chip card, and I sign like regular on the screen after I swipe.

 

I do understand having both a chip and strip while stores are transitioning, but don't understand how I'm safer by having to run the card both ways.  This is not just one branch or one visit, either - it's several stores in different cities.

 

From what I have been told, the debit/credit card terminal stores transaction records.  The data for swiped transactions can be used if it's compromised or accessed.  The data from the chip transactions, on the other hand, is secure because each transaction generates a random data record that is used only for that transaction.  It can't be re-attached to the chip card information to be used for future transactions.  From my understanding, the security benefit is only the case for chip cards if they are inserted into the card reader rather than swiped. 

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Merchants had to upgrade or face fraud charges and possible decommissioning of their accounts. Well at least our services said that in an official letter. It is he merchants who will be stuck with fraud charges, not the consumer nor the banks anymore. Don't know how the rest handled. For the consumer, there wasn't a particular deadline and some banks may just be waiting until renewal. Less costly for them I guess. Wal mart stores already upgraded a couple years ago, their systems are chip enabled all ready. Plus put out their own special chip card. Why things don't work? Glitches - part of life, I guess.

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Well, clearly the chip cards aren't totally mandatory. It sounds like the potential fines are all that's mandatory. If the merchants know that the fines for a few months will only be a certain amount that's less than the amount extra they'll have to spend doing the rush update... Well, you get the idea.

 

Since the chip cards aren't going to provide that much extra security, I assume they're just so Americans can use credit cards abroad, honestly, since we've been out of step with the rest of the world over this for awhile. We've had (mostly minor) issues with this when traveling for years. I was glad we had a chip card last fall (an early one, it seems) when we went to Canada since all the restaurants wouldn't take anything else (other places took the swipe ones though).

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We have had a chip and pin system here in India for a few years.  No signatures when using credit card.  Great fraud protection - if the card is stolen totally useless for anyone without the pin.  I remember when the switch happened it was a pain for a little while because shops hadn't totally adapted.  Many times in restaurants I had to get up and walk to wherever the cc machine was to enter the pin.  Sometimes this was back in the kitchen!  Now, however, all the restaurants have wireless cc readers that come to the table.  Same for home deliveries.  We still have lots of things that come COD.  We can pay using a cc and a pin.

 

For online transactions there is a different system that is used here - a one time pin that is generated online from the bank for use in that online purchase.

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Only a very small percentage of merchants here have added chip readers.  None of the stores I frequent on a regular basis have them.  That includes big box stores like Target and WalMart and Walgreens.  Neither my debit nor my credit card have been updated.

 

I think for consumers this change means very little.  I don't understand why we can't have the chip and PIN system, which does seem more secure.

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We're in Canada and have used the chip and pin for years - for both debit and credit.  I can't remember the last time I had to swipe my card.  We also have the "tap" option now, too.  I just tap my credit card or my debit card and it pays automatically - no need to insert anything or enter a pin.  I worry a bit about the tap, but I also have limits on how much money I can tap for (I think it's anything under $100) and if I try to do too many tap transactions in a row the machine will ask me to insert and enter my chip at some point.  

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Lanny

 

When it comes to debit cards, we haven't ever needed a signature. It's like cash and comes out of your account immediately.

 

Robin M.

 

I am afraid to use a Debit card for that kind of in-store transaction.  We live in Colombia, but the process is the same.

 

In that TV news story a few days ago, I believe they said that in the U.S. the maximum Consumer liability for Credit Card purchases is $50, but for Debit Card purchases it is $500.

 

I do use my Debit card for occasional online purchases,  but not for in store transactions.  I prefer to get cash from the ATM and pay with cash and not risk a horrible problem because I paid with a Debit card in the store.

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Lanny, why didn't you just translate it yourself instead of using google.com?  You did a much better job. 

 

 

Thank you. The online translators are much better now, but they lack a lot of intelligence. One should not deliver a speech before the U.N. after using one of those translators. Many years ago, my (late) best friend used one of those, to translate something he wrote, to my wife, into Spanish. After I finished laughing (or choking) I called my wife in to read it. She laughed so hard I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack.  It had to do with DD and her name, but the translation didn't come out well.  We talk about that incident every year or so and tell DD about it.

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Well, clearly the chip cards aren't totally mandatory. It sounds like the potential fines are all that's mandatory. If the merchants know that the fines for a few months will only be a certain amount that's less than the amount extra they'll have to spend doing the rush update... Well, you get the idea.

 

Since the chip cards aren't going to provide that much extra security, I assume they're just so Americans can use credit cards abroad, honestly, since we've been out of step with the rest of the world over this for awhile. We've had (mostly minor) issues with this when traveling for years. I was glad we had a chip card last fall (an early one, it seems) when we went to Canada since all the restaurants wouldn't take anything else (other places took the swipe ones though).

 

 

The cards with Chips are much better for Fraud protection than the old fashioned cards with a Magnetic Strip on the back.

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So you don't have 'pay wave' in the US? In Australia many stores now have card machines where you just pass the card over the screen (for cards with a chip). You only need to use the pin for charges over $100. So these card machines have 3 options - insert chip, swipe magnetic strip or 'wave'.

 

We also only do PINs for credit and debit cards - no signing allowed since last year.

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So you don't have 'pay wave' in the US? In Australia many stores now have card machines where you just pass the card over the screen (for cards with a chip). You only need to use the pin for charges over $100. So these card machines have 3 options - insert chip, swipe magnetic strip or 'wave'.

 

We also only do PINs for credit and debit cards - no signing allowed since last year.

 

Some of the terminals have tap (which might be the same as pay wave?) but I haven't tried it to see if it works.  Maybe it works on the terminals that have activated the chip slot... I will have to try this to find out.

 

A few stores set up pay by thumbprint a while back.  I don't know if they are still using that though.

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I've been considering accepting credit cards for my tiny business. It figures that when I'm ready to take embrace it that the technology is outdated. People just don't want to deal with cash or checks anymore. At this point I think I should just buy the chip reader from Paypal and figure it out. I don't even have a pay button on my website. Ugh. I'm a dinosaur.

Any advice in this department?

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In that TV news story a few days ago, I believe they said that in the U.S. the maximum Consumer liability for Credit Card purchases is $50, but for Debit Card purchases it is $500.

 

I hear that over and over. But I have never been held liable for ANY debit card purchase that I did not do, no matter what the amount.  It is scarier than a credit card being taken because the money is OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT until replaced.

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I brought my spanking new chip card to Amsterdam... Stupid pin (which we've reset online twice, so I know it's correct) doesn't work. Kind of an issue here with "chip and pin only" stores. I'm careful to check before I buy anything. Larger retailers are used to the hassle of U.S. chip cards and just have me sign the receipt. "Progress"! LOL

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DH has been working on this transition for quite some time (he writes software for POS terminals). The hardware and software is there-it's just a matter of adoption. But even in our personal cards, only 1/4 are Chip + PIN-and a lot of the places don't have the card reader.

 

The no-contact pay (Apple Pay etc) and no contact card pay is coming as well, but is something that is optional at this point-you can accept credit cards without accepting no-contact.

 

Apparently the standard used in Europe is not necessarily the same as the one in the USA, so be aware that a CHIP card issued in Europe may not work in US machines and vice-versa.

 

DH is frustrated because this is like so much else in the US. It was known for years, companies have put into the work so they could transition (and many of the companies are offering free or low cost upgrades) -but we are likely to be in this intermediate state for months if not years.

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Robin M.

 

I am afraid to use a Debit card for that kind of in-store transaction.  We live in Colombia, but the process is the same.

 

In that TV news story a few days ago, I believe they said that in the U.S. the maximum Consumer liability for Credit Card purchases is $50, but for Debit Card purchases it is $500.

 

I do use my Debit card for occasional online purchases,  but not for in store transactions.  I prefer to get cash from the ATM and pay with cash and not risk a horrible problem because I paid with a Debit card in the store.

Totally understand.  A lot of people are hesitant to use their debit cards now due to all the bank hacking and id thefts.  For the merchant, the processing fees are less than visa/mc/amex which is why we prefer to do debit.   Plus atm payments can't be reversed like v/m which cuts down on customer fraud.

 

I've hardly had any problems with personal purchases whether store or online.  I got hacked once through a smog repair place, but that's the only time.   I have had the bank suddenly send me a new card as a precaution a couple times because their files got hacked.    The banks have become fairly proactive and if you buy something outside your norm, are emailing and calling to see if you actually made the purchase.  We've had USAA do that a few times which can be a pain but its nice to know they are keeping a sharp eye out.  

 

The deal with consumer liability is 0 if you report your card lost immediately, max loss is $50 if report within a couple days. and $500 more than two days and before your next statement gets sent out.    The Fair Credit Billing act (federal law) limits your liability to $50.

 

I see more and more people turning to paying cash for all purchases, including large purchases. 

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DH has been working on this transition for quite some time (he writes software for POS terminals). The hardware and software is there-it's just a matter of adoption. But even in our personal cards, only 1/4 are Chip + PIN-and a lot of the places don't have the card reader.

 

The no-contact pay (Apple Pay etc) and no contact card pay is coming as well, but is something that is optional at this point-you can accept credit cards without accepting no-contact.

 

Apparently the standard used in Europe is not necessarily the same as the one in the USA, so be aware that a CHIP card issued in Europe may not work in US machines and vice-versa.

 

DH is frustrated because this is like so much else in the US. It was known for years, companies have put into the work so they could transition (and many of the companies are offering free or low cost upgrades) -but we are likely to be in this intermediate state for months if not years.

 

I can imagine his frustration after all his work.   We started getting notices a year ago, with calls every two or three months about upgrading our equipment, so it seems ridiculous some companies are totally unprepared.  

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I've been considering accepting credit cards for my tiny business. It figures that when I'm ready to take embrace it that the technology is outdated. People just don't want to deal with cash or checks anymore. At this point I think I should just buy the chip reader from Paypal and figure it out. I don't even have a pay button on my website. Ugh. I'm a dinosaur.

Any advice in this department

If all you need is a swiper to attach to your phone or ipad, I'd go with paypal. They had pay widgets that are easy to set up in a couple minutes on your website.  The minute we started using the widget, folks started ordering more.  

 

They seem to have the best deal for small, small businesses. Also check quickbooks --    Figure out how much you'd think you'd be processing in the amount of payments and what their charges are to determine if it would be feasible. 

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We've had chip and pin in Canada for many years -- maybe a decade, maybe more.  We also have flash pay, which is where you only have to pass the chip over the terminal screen.  There is a monetary limit on how much you can pay with flash, but it's easy and quick.  Odd that the US has only just begun to catch up on the basic chip and pin stuff. 

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So how was it fraudulently swiped in another state if it was sitting in my kitchen the whole time?  And how was it that dh had no trouble using it before it was officially activated?  Not reassuring.

 

I have heard of thieves making fake credit cards that can be swiped.  They don't necessarily have to have the actual card in their possession.  As far as using it before officially activating it, that drives me crazy.  The last couple times we've gotten a replacement card (two different banks) after the expiration of the previous one passed, there has been a thing about how if we don't activate it by phone or on-line in a certain period of time, they'd activate them for us as a "courtesy."  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  How is that keeping the cards secure in any way?

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Just got back from UK and Paris where our chip-and-sign cards worked just fine everywhere. At one place the waiter assumed we had a swipe, but we quickly sorted it out.

 

The biggest difference overseas was that the clerks always asked for the card to check the signature on the back of the card against the signature on the sales slip. I told the clerk at Primark that no one in the U.S. bothers with that step, and he replied that that explains a lot about the reactions he gets when he asks for the card. In one case having a clerk ask to see the card kept me from wandering out of the store leaving my card in the machine (at a train station grabbing a quick sandwich before boarding) so I was quite happy to have that extra step.

 

The first US place I found that actually used the chip function was Walmart. Many groceries around here have the correct machine but aren't yet using the chip function.

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