While most believe that new, chip embedded credit cards offer more security, the extra measures won't mean much if retailers aren't equipped for the new tech.
Though most retailers and banks set an October 1 date for implementation, most places are in a rush to meet that deadline. According to the Wall Street Journal, only Wal-Mart and a few other large retailers are accepting the new payment method, despite the fact that millions of the new cards have already shipped to customers. Target, which suffered a major breach in 2013, will start taking the new cards in the late spring, according to a company spokesman.
The new cards a more secure because the embedded chip creates a unique code for each transaction, making it harder to create counterfeits. As such, the new cards are more costly to produce, roughly five times more expensive than traditional cards, which is leaving some smaller banks in the dust.
"Some of [the small banks] are struggling with the complexity of it, and the cost is a factor," said Jamie Topolski, director of alternative payment strategies at Fiserv Inc., which is helping small banks navigate the transition to chip cards.
The added expense is in the tens of millions range for the new cards, a ticket item for these banks when considering their low interest rates and heightened regulatory requirements. Though the increased cost of production should be offset somewhat by a decline in fraud costs, most smaller banks aren't likely to implement these cards until next year at the earliest.
These new cards are only now coming to the U.S. after being used oversees for years. Roughly three-quarters of U.S. credit cards and about 40 percent of debit cards, some 575 million new cards, are expected to be issued to American consumers by year-end, making it the biggest rollout of new cards in decades.
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