Pay attention to your mailbox. A new chip card is on the way. Your credit card has been updated with a chip that is designed to help keep fraudsters at bay.
This added security requires some adjustments.
Go easy: Forget swiping. You'll insert your card into a slot, chip side first, and wait while the chip is read. "Don't quickly dip your card . . . It won't work and could ruin the card," warns Mark Ranta, head of digital banking solutions at global payments company ACI Worldwide.
What to expect: Some transactions, even for credit cards, may require you to enter a PIN. "This presents a challenge, as credit transactions didn't require a PIN before, so many people may not be aware of what their PIN is or know they had one," says Brendan Ivory, northeast director for Card Connect in Smithtown.
Depending on the card you use and the merchant you go to, you could also be asked to sign. Some chip cards can be waved close to the merchant terminal rather than dipping, adds John Deloso, executive vice president of NEFCU in Westbury.
Chip cards are safer from fraud and data breaches when used in person, although they don't offer any extra protection when you shop online.
The added security is good news for consumers and businesses. Says Bill Elward, owner of Castle Ink in Greenlawn: "I'm excited about the switch. We expect to significantly reduce the amount of chargeoffs we're hit with due to fraudulent transactions. As a small business, the cumulative impact of these sorts of transactions can have a huge impact on the bottom line."
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed Mark Ranta's comments to another executive at ACI worldwide.