EMV Credit Cards Interview with WINA Radio Charlottesville, VA

By Media Relations

CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 with Les Sinclair of WINA Radio Charlottesville, VA about the September 2015 EMV Credit Cards survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Les Sinclair: Charlottesville right now. It’s where you go when you need to know. And tomorrow’s the big day. If you haven’t checked what’s inside your wallet, you might want to do that because you’re supposed to have credit cards with chips in them, but it looks like most of us still don’t have that. Matt Schulz is with CreditCards.com. He’s the Senior Analyst there. Matt, what is going on with these chips in our credit cards? I was looking at mine just the other night and I’ve got like three with them and three or four without.

Matt Schulz: Yeah, it’s just a big long expensive process that’s taking probably a little longer than people might have thought. And a survey we just finished showed that more than six in 10 American credit cardholders still don’t have one of these chip cards so they’ve got a long way to go.

Sinclair: Well let’s talk about these chip cards. Why do I need one? Why should I have one?

Schulz: They’re important in two ways. One, it makes the actual plastic card harder to counterfeit, and that’s an important thing for stopping that type of fraud. But the other thing it does is when you use the chip card in a chip terminal, instead of passing all your credit card information to them merchant, instead it just sends one unique transaction code to that merchant. And if a bad guy gets into that database, steals that code, tries to use it to make another purchase, it won’t work. It’s basically like stealing an expired password.

Sinclair: Well, I was in my doctor’s office and they were complaining about the new machine that they had to buy and I’m assuming that was because of this chip transaction thing.

Schulz: Yeah, that’s probably so. Lots and lots of retailers are having to upgrade their terminals and if they don’t by October 1st, they could get stuck bearing the costs of any credit card fraud related losses that they have. So that’s a big deal for October 1st.

Sinclair: Now why do some people have the chip credit cards and why do some of us not?

Schulz: The first people to really jump on the EMV bandwagon in the states were people who travel internationally. And I think we’re still seeing the results of that when you look at who has a card because our survey showed that folks who are wealthy, more educated are more likely to have these cards. And that also fits the profile of your average frequent international traveler. So I think that’s what’s going on there.

Sinclair: This is News Radio 1070 WINA. We’re talking with CreditCards.com’s Matt Schulz about the new chip embedded credit cards. It’s call EMV. What’s that stand for?

Schulz: It stands for Europay MasterCard and Visa. And those are the credit card networks that came up with this technology many years ago.

Sinclair: Should I be concerned if I don’t have one of these?

Schulz: You shouldn’t be concerned yet because your old magnetic stripe credit card will work for the foreseeable future and all of these terminals that they’re putting in you’ll still be able to swipe if you don’t have a chip card. And chances are you’ll probably be getting a new chip card in your mail probably by the end of the year.

Sinclair: What about debit cards? Will they be chip-enabled as well?

Schulz: They eventually will be. They’ve kind of done credit cards first because ATMs don’t have to be compatible with these EMV chip cards for another year or so, so they’ve kind of prioritized those behind credit cards.

Sinclair: Should I be proactive and contact my credit card company and say, “Hey, where’s my new chip card?”

Schulz: Yeah, being proactive never hurts. You can either give your bank a call and ask them what their plan is or you can also go to CreditCards.com and we’ve got a page with dozens of these types of cards, if you’d rather go that way.

Sinclair: As long as you got them on the line you should ask them to reduce your interest rate, right?

Schulz: That’s exactly right, it never hurts to ask.

Sinclair: It never hurts to ask. Matt Schulz with CreditCards.com. Very useful information. Before I let you go, anything else I need to know about these new EMV chip cards?

Schulz: One quick thing is that this doesn’t change your liability at all. If someone does a fraudulent charge with your card, as long as you report it quickly you’re not going to be out that money probably, regardless of whether you have a chip card or a magnetic stripe card.

Sinclair: Great information. Matt Schulz, thank you very much for being on today.

Schulz: Yeah, thank you.

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