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EMV chips, or smart chips in layman’s terms, are becoming increasingly common in US credit cards. Long a security staple of credit cards issued in other countries, smart chips have taken a bit longer to catch on in the US, where most cards still use older magnetic-strip technology to embed cardholder information.
However, more and more US credit cards are coming with smart chips every day, and there are a lot of good reasons for that, including increased security and compatibility with merchants and machines across the world.
In a bold new move, Chase announced that it is planning to convert over 70% of its credit and debit cards to chip technology by the end of this year, and it’s upgrading its ATMs to accept chip-based cards. Although more and more banks including Amex, Barclaycard and Citi are issuing cards with chips these days, Chase was the pioneer in the US market.
The move should come as no surprise given recent security breaches at major retailers such as Target, Home Depot and eBay, as well as the fact that retailers will be required to accept EMV cards by October of this year, and gas stations and ATMs by 2017. After those dates, banks without EMV chips in their cards will be held accountable for any fraudulent transactions.
Some of the other numbers Chase cited in its announcement are particularly interesting. For instance, it reported that 80% of its consumers are concerned with credit and debit card security, but only 35% of them were aware of chip technology. So it’s going to be a long road ahead for banks looking to explain the benefits of chip-enabled cards and how to use them.
While putting chips in credit cards seems to have been the focus up until this point, the idea of putting them in debit cards, as issuers in other countries do, is a relatively new concept in the US. So Chase seems to be taking the lead here. Considering that consumer liability for debit transactions can be much greater than for credit card transactions — and that Chase says all its cards will come with zero fraud liability protection against unauthorized use — this is also a bit of good news for Chase customers.
Chase customers who do not already have chip-bearing credit or debit cards will receive replacement cards within the next 12 months. As a reminder, Chase is currently offering bonuses for opening checking and savings accounts, with the opportunity to earn $250 if you take advantage of both promotions.
On the checking side, you’ll earn $150 upon opening a Chase Total Checking account and setting up direct deposit. Meanwhile, opening a Chase Savings account with a deposit of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 business days gets you a $100 bonus. To take advantage of the offer, get the coupon here and print it out before heading to a Chase branch and setting up the new account(s). This particular promotion is set to expire on July 14, 2015.
For more information, check out this post on A Rundown of US Credit Cards with EMV Chip Technology. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.