By now, most of you who have credit and/or debit cards have been issued new cards that include a “chip.” Perhaps you have even paid for some purchases at a retail store using the “chip reader” on a credit/debit pin pad. You may have noticed that some retailers require that you use the Chip payment method, while others still use the good ol’ “swipe” method (with the magnetic stripe). I am pleased to announce after working on this concern for over two years that Willy Street Co-op is scheduled to implement EMV Chip at the registers this month!
HERE IS A LITTLE OF WHAT TO EXPECT
• We will be upgrading each store one at a time. It takes about a day per store to complete.
• There will be problems. The change to the software at the point-of-sale (POS) is new, and very complicated. Therefore, we will probably have to deal with a few problems for a few days. Your patience is appreciated.
• If your card has an EMV Chip, the POS will require you to use it, rather than the swipe method.
• Since we participate in the Community CHIP® program, things could get a little confusing. Which “chip” are we talking about? That’s why I refer to the credit/ debit Chip as EMV Chip.
• EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard, Visa.” Those are the three companies that originally developed the technology.
WHAT IS AN EMV CHIP ANYWAY?
• It’s a microprocessor chip, which in theory makes the card more secure from theft when compared to the old magnetic strip technology.
• The EMV Chip creates a unique code for every transaction. So, even if a criminal were able to somehow steal that code, it’s basically useless. Further, it can’t be traced back to your “static” credit/debit card number.
WHY AREN’T ALL RETAILERS USING EMV CHIP?
• Well, it’s complicated. Each retailer needs updated POS hardware, software, firmware—all of that is expensive and difficult to change. It will take about two to three years before we reach a tipping point in the U.S. where the majority of credit/debit transactions will be completed using an EMV Chip.
A few other benefits will be coming with this upgrade:
• The confusing screen that ambiguously asks “Yes or No” is going away. Hooray!
• We will also be implementing Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay (mobile phone apps) at all three stores.
I look forward to getting this implemented!