Deadline looms to upgrade credit card machines for chips

Thursday's deadline looms to upgrade credit card machines for chips

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Those who use a credit card for shopping should already have a chip on it instead of a magnetic strip, and those who don't should receive a replacement card with a chip when their card is up for expiration.

The credit card industry announced two years ago a deadline on October 1 for all retailers. However, nationally, statistics show less than 10 percent of retailers are ready to accept the cards with chips.

In Baton Rouge, Ned Pearson with Pearson's Travel World has ordered three of the machines. But, in calling several area retailers, the majority said they had not switched over yet.

"Some of these smaller stores, they can't afford a $1,200 bill," said Pearson.

Pearson said the machines cost $1,200 per device. His reason for being prepared for Thursday's deadline? Any merchant not prepared will be held liable for any credit card fraud charges.

The consumer used to swipe the magnetic strip on the card. Now, they will insert the card into a slot and leave it in there a few seconds as the machine reads the chip before being asked to sign for the purchase.

Before, banks would pick up the tab anytime a person's identity was stolen. Now though, if they have a chip on the card and still swipe instead of inserting it into the slot, picking up that fraudulent tab is now on the consumer.

"You are responsible because you did not insert it into the correct spot where it reads the chip," said Pearson. "If you have the chip and you slide it into this little slot here where the chip's at, we're responsible."

The credit card industry hopes to reduce fraud through these chips.

The deadline for gas stations to upgrade their systems for the chip enabled cards is 2017.

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