Your Credit Card Is Getting an Upgrade. Are You Ready?
Life + Money

Your Credit Card Is Getting an Upgrade. Are You Ready?

© Stelios Varias / Reuters

The credit card industry has promised to replace every existing magnetic strip card with new, more secure chip cards — by tomorrow.

If you haven’t gotten your new card yet, you’re not alone. Despite the deadline, more than six in 10 cardholders haven’t received their new cards, according to a new report from 

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Don’t worry, though. Your new card will likely come in the next few months, and while you’re waiting for it, merchants will still accept the old ones.

Once you have the new card, rather than swiping it as you do now, you’ll pay by dipping your card into a reader. The machine will read the chip, validate it and request a signature or pin.

“This is the biggest change in decades in how credit cards are used in America, so we shouldn’t be surprised if things are moving slowly,” senior industry analyst Matt Schulz said in a statement. “One thing that won’t change however, is consumer liability. If you report bogus charges promptly, you likely won’t be out any money.”

Liability for retailers, on the other hand, is changing. Under new rules, retailers who don’t upgrade their card readers to accommodate the chip cards could be liable for fraud committed at their store.

While fraud at retailers will likely go down as a result of the shift, it may increase in other areas like online shopping or gas stations, which don’t need to upgrade until 2017.