Most U.S.-issued chip cards will be chip and signature, meaning that after you dip, you then have to sign. Others may also be chip and PIN-enabled, meaning that after you’ve dipped (or tapped), you’ll have to enter a 4-digit PIN. That’s just one extra layer of security.
In addition to security and fraud prevention, are there any other benefits? Once technology evolves and merchants get on board with this technology I think it will ultimately become a faster and more efficient process. At the places where I can use Apple Pay, for instance, I am able to simply tap the terminal, then use my fingerprint to authenticate. The payment happens and I’m out the door. It’s great. Credit cards may not get quite that efficient, but they’ll get better.
Another benefit of all this – especially for travelers – is that you can take your card all over the world and not have to worry that they won’t have a swiping machine. It should be noted that chip and PIN cards are more common in Europe and it’s a little unclear whether or not chip and signature cards will always work there – particularly at self service kiosks where you don’t have a human to take your payment. Visa and Mastercard say that they will, but you might want to have a back-up plan just in case.
Like any new (or new to us) technology, chip cards are going to take a little getting used to. Ultimately, the benefits will outweigh those growing pains. Has your bank issued you a new card yet? What experiences have you had with chip payment technology? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @TandTNews.