Is Your Wallet Ready for This Fall?

It is time to get a new credit card – before this fall.

Well, at least it is time to learn how to use your credit card in a new way.

The other day I was asked to use the chip in my credit card for the first time in 15 years.  Yes, that is how far behind the US is in credit card technology.  The last time I used the chip in a credit card was in Europe in 2000.  What was interesting about the other day?  It was in my local pet store to buy an $8 bag of treats.  The store was getting a head start on the big changes coming to retailers across the US this fall.

If you are a retailer that takes cards in person, there is no better time than the present to start getting used to it and to train your employees and customers.  Make sure you have a card reader that accepts chip and pin (EMV) cards, otherwise you will be responsible for all fraudulent charges.  Square and providers of other small devices are in the midst of rolling out upgraded technology as well.

If you are a consumer, open up your wallet and look at your cards.  Do they all have little silver squares on them?  If not, this is an opportunity to upgrade your card. Call your credit card provider and ask if they will be supporting chip and pin with your card.  Either way, this is an opportunity to change cards.  See what other cards your bank supports, and if there is one with better benefits, go ahead and apply.

Even if your bank turns you down, give them a call and ask to transfer the credit line from your old card to your new card rather than getting an additional line of credit.  You have probably heard about the giant scandals at Target and other retailers, this a way to protect your credit card data, at least for in-person transactions.

If you would like to help everyone get ahead, start asking the businesses you frequent if you can pay using the chip and PIN.  It is good practice for all of us.

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