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Businesses slow to upgrade credit card machines

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 14:56:10-04
Most of us now have chip-enabled credit cards in our wallets but most retailers haven't made the switch. 
 
"Currently we're using a little bit more old fashioned style system," said Dee Cross, who works at Silver Sea Jewelry on Fourth Avenue. She says the store is in the process of updating to a digital system that will accept the new EMV cards. 
 
And that store isn't alone. A recent survey by management consulting company The Strawhecker Group found that less than half of U.S. merchants have upgraded to the new EMV systems since the October 1 deadline last year. 
 
"It's definitely been a slow transition," said Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst with CreditCards.com
 
He says the new EMV chip-cards protect your personal information better than the magnetic stripe because every time you buy something, the chip sends a unique code to the retailer. 
 
"If a bad guy hacks into their database and steals that code and tries to use it to purchase something else using your credit card, it wont work," he said. "It's essentially like stealing an expired password."

Schulz says by the end of 2016, the majority of retailers should have the new chip readers installed.
 
Some retailers like Summit Hut upgraded their systems before the deadline. Marketing Manager Landon Vincent says they made the switch about a year ago. 
 
"We're always really diligent about trying to do everything we can to help protect customers and their transactions especially with as much credit card and ID theft is out there," said Vincent.

According to research by the Association for Financial Professionals, nearly three quarters of American businesses experienced some kind of payment fraud attack last year.
 
That's up 62 percent from 2014. 
 
"The reality is there's so much money to lose for banks and for retailers and so much money that the bad guys can gain from being a couple steps ahead that there's a lot of work to be done," said Schulz.
 
He says retailers who still haven't upgraded to the EMV-system could be liable for any credit card fraud in their stores. Before, the burden fell on the banks.
 
But he says consumers shouldn't worry if their favorite stores still make them swipe because ultimately, consumers should always monitor their accounts for any kind of fraud. 
 
"You really are your best line of defense and nobody cares about your money as much as you do," said Schulz.