What You Should Know About the New Credit Card Chip Rule

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BY ENJOLI FRANCIS AND SUSANNA KIM

Chip-enabled credit cards will now become the standard for consumers and business owners.

Banks and credit companies have been sending consumers new cards, which look like their old cards but are fitted with a small metallic high-tech chip known as EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa — the three companies that created the standard.

The chip’s goal: keeping thieves from easily accessing consumers’ personal information. Starting today, retailers and small businesses who have not yet upgraded their credit card networks will be liable for any Visa, Discover or Mastercard credit card transaction that is fraudulent if the card is EMV-equipped.

If fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is still responsible for the fraud. American Express will transfer liability to business owners on Oct. 16.

Credit card fraud is a growing problem in the U.S. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit card information stolen last year, more than three times the number of consumers affected in 2013, according to a report published by Javelin, a company that studies customer transactions. According to a report from Barclays earlier this year, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the U.S.

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