Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chip Cards Offer Additional Security for Holiday Shopping Season

chip card reader for added security
In the wake of several highly-publicized cases of retailer breaches over the past few years, consumers have a layer of added security this holiday season: the chip card. By now, most credit and debit cards come with a small square chip in the front. You may have received a new card in the mail with chip technology, and been asked to use the chip reader recently at your favorite store. But what exactly does the chip card do?
What makes the chip card different?
Chip cards are different than the old magnetic strip cards because they assign a unique code to each transaction. This makes it harder to commit fraud by stealing your card data or using fake cards. Even if your card data and individual transaction code were stolen, it could not be used again for a new transaction. Chip cards still come with a magnetic strip, so if a merchant doesn’t have a working chip reader, you can still use the swipe method for a transaction.
Keep in mind that chip cards only offer this extra layer of security when used in-person, with a chip reader. When using the magnetic strip method, or making a purchase over the phone or online, the chip feature is not engaged in the transaction.
How do you use the chip card?
At first, using the chip card may take a bit longer than using the magnetic strip, as shoppers get used to it. But as it becomes automatic, the time to process a chip card is only slightly longer than the swipe method.
The chip card is inserted into the chip reader at the bottom of a checkout keypad. Shoppers need to remember to remove their chip cards after the transaction has been processed. Some chip readers sound an alarm when it’s time to remove the card. This is so you don’t forget your card by leaving it in the chip reader.
If your credit or debit card has a chip, rest assured that your in-store purchases are more secure than ever this year, as long as you use the merchant’s chip reader, and remember to take your card after the transaction is complete.
McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the banking needs of the people of McHenry County, Illinois, for over 60 years. With branches in McHenry, Richmond, and Johnsburg, we are a full-service financial institution with personal, commercial, and investment services. Please visit our website, or call us at (815) 385-3000 for more information. “We are local people making local decisions.”

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