Chip-enabled cards leave some confused
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - You have your fancy new credit card with a chip in it, but at so many stores you're still swiping instead of inserting or "dipping the chip."
"Why aren't places using it? They are supposed to be using it. I mean, that was the whole point of getting the cards in the first place," said shopper Krista Eyler. "You end up having to ask the checkout person, 'Do I slide it or do I stick it in the slot?'" said Edgar Dworsky, founder of Consumerworld.org.
Dworsky did a survey of 48 national and regional chains and found all but one now has those chip readers installed for credit card purchases. But despite the industry spending $35 billion on the process, 75 percent of retailers have not turned their new systems on yet.
FOX 35 contacted Walmart, Home Depot, Macy's and Walgreens and they all say they have enabled the chip card system across all their stores. Bed, Bath & Beyond says it's on track to begin processing chip transactions during the first half of 2016. Toys R Us and Babies R Us says they're finalizing the testing process now and they hope to have the new software in the near future. Publix says they're in the process of updating payment hardware and software, but they're not ready to announce a specific date yet.
Many experts argue the chip cards really won't protect shoppers in the long run, because there's no pin associated in the card. Unlike in Europe, America still depends on a signature to authorize the purchase and a crook can easily forge that.
"What we have demanded for years is a chip and pin where you have the secret pin number, where if you don't have the pin number the card is worthless," said J. Craig Shearman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation. "Without having a pin it's like locking the front door and leaving the back door wide open, it just doesn't make any sense," said Shearman.
Experts say on average it takes a store about 19 months to get all of the software up and running to process the chip cards.