Local businesses, shoppers to be affected by EMV credit card chips

DUBUQUE – If you’ve gotten a new credit card in the mail recently, you may have noticed a little, shiny chip on it.

That’s because the United States is now switching to the EMV credit card chip system.

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa and is a safer way to process credit card transactions.

Banks will either be reissuing these new credit cards to members in a natural or mass redistribution.

In a natural redistribution, a person will get a new card when their card expires. In a mass redistribution, banks will send out cards at once to all members, no matter when the card expires.

Other than receiving a new card in the mail with a chip on it, consumers will hardly notice the change. What will change, however, is how much safer cards are now.

Todd Link, Senior Vice President of Risk Management and Remote Delivery at Dupaco, says cards with these computer chips will be a lot harder for people to counterfeit.

“The chip cards make the actual credit or debit card itself much more difficult to counterfeit. Nearly impossible is the term that is being batted around right now,” he said.

One local business, however, isn’t so happy with the change.

Time Shop owner Mark Arnold says that because of these new cards, he has to purchase new equipment.

“The dilemma that I have is in the past I have leased my equipment instead of paying for it outright, and now they’re saying I have to buy the new equipment,” he explained.

The new equipment costs $250. For a small business owner who sells and repairs clocks and watches, that is a lot of money depending on the month.

“A small business, you know, at time $250 is a big bite.”

If Arnold doesn’t get the equipment by October first, any fraud that may occur in his store will be his responsibility, not the credit card company.

“Probably 99% of the transactions that I do are face to face, so its people that I would, you know, normally deal with. So how much fraud issues I would have is playing the odds.”

Whether he decides to get on board or not, the change is coming no matter what.

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Allison is a senior at Loras College and is a Dubuque native. She's the Producer of LCTV News, along with Payton Van Vors, as well as an anchor and reporter. This past summer, Allison had an internship with KCRG in Dubuque, and she's continuing to work for them this Fall. Allison reports because she loves keeping her community informed on issues and events that matter to them.

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