Last updated: 23 May 2014
The way that we make credit card transactions is going to change as EMV cards become more common (those are credit cards with a chip).
In the U.S. we’ve become accustomed to making a credit card transaction with a swipe. But EMV cards aren’t swiped. Instead, they are “dipped” into the payment terminal, and left there while you type in your PIN or provide a signature. After the transaction is complete you remove the card, much like an ATM transaction. Contactless credit cards work a bit differently. They are “tapped” or “waved”above the payment terminal, creating the fastest transaction option, and that’s why contactless cards have proven to be so popular.
What else is changing? The biggest change that EMV chip cards will likely bring is to a place that needs it the most: restaurants. Currently restaurants provide an easy opportunity for payment thieves to steal your card data because it’s common practice in the U.S. to allow a waiter to handle your card, often conducting the actual transaction out of sight. That’s a prime opportunity for credit card fraud, and, unfortunately, it’s where much of the credit card skimming happens in America. The good news is that with EMV, all that is set to change.
To find out more, see our guide to EMV transactions which breaks down the basics of EMV chip card payments.