To pay for their Reuben sandwiches and tuna melts, customers with a small metallic square on the front of their charge cards an increasingly common fraud-prevention chip will have to dip instead of swipe. For several seconds, slightly longer than most people may be used to, cards are inserted and left in the cashier’s payment terminal, which uses the chip to determine whether the card is legitimate.
Kennet Westby, the president of the security firm Coalfire, acknowledged it was likely to be a pain for consumers initially. “What we’ve become very accustomed to as consumers is quick credit card transactions.”
The change from a swipe to a dip may be the only sign many consumers have of an enormous behind-the-scenes shift in the payment industry, asbanks and retailers tussle over who should be blamed for fraud.
On Thursday, merchants who cannot process chip-enabled cards could become liable for fraudulent transactions at their stores. MasterCard and Visa set the deadline for the new rules, which are part of their agreements with the retailers and banks that use their networks. American Express will shift liability on Oct. 16.
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