EMV Credit Cards Interview with KCBS Radio San Francisco

By Media Relations

CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Thursday, October 1, 2015 with Rebecca Corral of KCBS Radio San Francisco about the September 2015 EMV Credit Cards survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Rebecca Corral: As we’ve been telling you on KCBS today is the day retailers and consumers are supposed to make the switch to new chip-enabled credit cards, but despite the credit card industry’s self-imposed deadline a new CreditCards.com report finds that six in 10 U.S. credit card holders still don’t have the new card. For on the delayed switchover we turn to the KCBS Ringcentral Newsline and talk with Matt Schulz. He is Senior Analyst with CreditCards.com. Thanks a lot for talking to us today. You know, I was looking at the cards in my wallet. Out of four cards, maybe five cards, only one has the chip. I mean, are they supposed to send them out, are we supposed to ask for them?

Matt Schulz: Well, you’re a pretty typical situation and the answer is that banks are probably going to send you the card without you asking for them. And if you don’t have them yet, there’s a good chance you’ll have it by the end of the year. But if you want to be proactive you can always give your bank a call and there are sites like ours at CreditCards.com where you can get EMV cards without having to wait.

Corral: Now are all banks going to do it, though? I belong to a really teeny tiny credit union and I have a hard time thinking they would do it.

Schulz: Well, I think most banks, if not all, will eventually do it, but they will all certainly do it on their own timeline. And the really big boy banks are definitely a little ahead of the smaller banks.

Corral: So who’s on the hook for what if they don’t start using the chip?

Schulz: Starting today if a retailer doesn’t have a terminal at their checkout counter that accepts EMV cards, they are on the hook for credit card fraud losses going forward. And that’s a really big deal, but beyond that situation it still mostly falls on the banks.

Corral: Ok, so credit card fraud involving their store?

Schulz: Correct.

Corral: But what about when you use mail order or online shopping or those kinds of things? There’s no chip involved there.

Schulz: Yeah, and that’s one of the flaws of this whole EMV thing is that it doesn’t impact situations like you just described and it doesn’t affect online fraud, either. And there’s even speculation that online fraud might increase as the bad guys kind of shift from one low hanging fruit to another.

Corral: Now what about the consumer? Are we on the hook for anything?

Schulz: Consumer liability doesn’t change at all with this. And that’s really the most important thing to know is that if somebody uses your card fraudulently, whether you’ve got a chip card or a magnetic stripe card, you’re still probably not going to be on the hook for fraudulent charges.

Corral: And tell me the benefits for us of the chip card.

Schulz: It’s really two things. One, it makes the physical plastic card harder to counterfeit. And then the other thing is that it makes the merchant hold less of your valuable credit card information because instead of sending your expiration date and all of that sort of thing to the merchant when you make a purchase it instead sends a unique transaction code that can only be used in that one case. And if a bad guy gets it, tries to use it somewhere else, it won’t work. It’s kind of like stealing an expired password.

Corral: We have a producer who just got back from Europe, he said chips are the thing over there.

Schulz: And they have been for an awful long time. America is definitely behind the rest of the world in this case.

Corral: Ok so again we can ask for a new card, but until our banks are doing it – no deal?

Schulz: Yeah. And it’s really no need to worry, either, because your magnetic stripe card works now and is going to work for the foreseeable future.

Corral: Alright, well thank you very much for talking to us. We appreciate it. That’s Matt Schulz. He is Senior Analyst with CreditCards.com, talking about the new chip card, which we’ll all be converting over to eventually.

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