How the credit card chip liability shift affects you

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Even though a deadline has passed, not all stores have or know how to use credit card readers that accommodate new security chips — a difference that matters in terms of who’s held at fault in the event of a data breach.

The Europay, MasterCard Visa, or EMV, chip technology in credit and debit cards aims to stop hackers from using your accounts by creating a one-time number for each transaction. The new chips and card readers have been rolling out in the last few months in response to big data breaches like the one at Target in 2013 and Home Depot in 2014.

“Let’s say you ran a card at Target or you ran a card at wherever the place may be and they’re storing that one-time number,” Aaron WanderWall, owner of Imperial Computer Solutions, said. “Versus your credit card number, if somebody gets into their database — they hack it or whatever else — that number essentially means nothing.”

So what does the Oct. 1 deadline, imposed by the credit card companies, mean for you and your financial information? Experts say it has no effect. The deadline simply marked the shift of the blame for fraudulent transactions from the credit card company to the retailer.

“Now they (the credit card company) can blame the retailer because it now creates that one-time code and if you’re not using it, they can say, ‘Well, you’re not using it, it’s your fault,’” WanderWall explained.

“I think it’s nice because of the fact that I got my card compromised twice, once here (at Target),” customer Deb Horrell said.

Target was one of the first retailers to install the new chip readers.

“I think it’s good because hopefully I feel more protected,” Horrell said.

The downside is the chip does not stop lost or stolen cards from being used in stores or online.

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