If you’ve gone to the grocery store within the past year, you might have been asked by the grocery store clerk if you credit card was ‘chipped’ or not. I know I have, several times. Being an avid technology fan, I only had a faint idea of what the chip might actually do, but never really knew for sure and I had a lot of questions.

So… I researched and here’s what I came up with:

What is the ‘chip’?

What is referred to as the ‘chip’ is actually what is known as an EMV, or “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa”. Basically, it is a combined effort between the three companies comprising its name to “…ensure security and global acceptance so that MasterCard and Visa Cards can continue to be used everywhere” (Maybank).

Why, all of the sudden, is this so common?

I initially thought that this had to do with some sort of law passed, but I was wrong.

Prior to October 1st, 2015; the liability for any credit card fraud rested on the bank. This meant they would have to reimburse the consumer; effectively giving banks an incentive to verify the customer’s identity.

After October 1st, 2015: If the banks provided an EMV card to the customer and the information is stolen at said store because their equipment couldn’t use EMV cards; the liability now rests on them because the bank providing the EMV card has done ‘everything in their power’ to protect the consumer.

Stay tuned for more!