closeup of a credit card's numbers

Got a Chip Card? You’ll Have to Wait 3 More Years to Use It at the Pump

If you have recently received a chip card to use as payment for your purchases, then you’ve probably been itching to use it in the new payment terminals. Although many stores have upgraded or are on their way to upgrading their machines, there’s one big merchant that is won’t be seeing any updates for a while – gas stations.

According to IDT911, Visa and Mastercard have recently granted gas stations 3 more years to convert their payment card readers from magnetic stripe terminals to chip card readers. Gas stations have already had a grace period of 2 additional years after last year’s 2015 deadline; however, they are receiving another 3 years to install chip readers in their gas pumps.

Why the extension? It will be a costly endeavor to gas stations nationwide. In order to upgrade their pumps, gas stations will typically need to break concrete, which isn’t cheap. Additionally, replacements can cost $30,000 as opposed to the $1,000 or so it had cost other retailers to upgrade their point of sales terminals. As of now, there is a shortage of smart chip card pumps as well, and complicated infrastructure and specialized technology is required in order for fuel pumps to be replaced successfully.

But don’t worry! There has been a lot of progress made with EMV migration in the United States. Right now, more than 1.7 million merchants are now accepting chip cards, and 388 million Visa chip cards have been issued in our nation alone. According to IDT911, we are already witnessing a 43% reduction of counterfeit fraud at chip-enabled merchants, meaning that countless people’s finances are becoming more secure.

Even though a big change to our money system is being made, it’s still important to take steps to protect your money, especially when you go to make your purchases. After all, as long as there are any magnetic stripe payments being accepted, there will always be vulnerability. Protect your PIN code by covering it up when you make purchases on the readers at the store. Never give out any sensitive data to anyone, especially over the phone. And, of course, never make any purchases with your credit card on a public computer.

We hope that you never experience identify theft, but if you do, be sure to call your agent at Madison Mutual. Our homeowners policy offers identification theft protection in the event that your identity is stolen! Learn more by calling us today at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com.