Chip credit cards: More secure or more of a hassle?

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – We are one day away from Thanksgiving and two days away from Black Friday.

But something in your wallet may slow you down on the biggest shopping day of the year, your new credit card.

We’re talking about those new cards with the little silver square on them, which is actually a computer chip.

Those chips encrypt your information so it’s harder for thieves to steal it. But the roll out of the new technology is slow and to some, painful.

They were supposed to be safer and prevent fraud, but the only thing the new chip cards seem to be doing is making the purchasing process take longer.

Ann Kinner owns Seabreeze Books and Charts in Point Loma.

Her computer-chip, credit card terminal, which cost her $300, doesn’t even have the right software yet.

And she, along with business owners all over the U.S., were supposed to be up and running on this new system by October 1st. 

"5 terminals later they finally found one that would work in my store," Kinner said.

As of October, shop owners, not banks, become liable for counterfeit cards.

They’ll now have to pay the fraud charges.

"This is just gonna add to what the merchant will have to do and we’re already over our heads in regulations," Kinner said.

Now, these cards don’t slide. They are put in the card reader and left there for awhile.

If you don’t time it right, the checker has to start all over again, so it takes longer to pay.

Here we are about to embark on the chaotic holiday shopping season.

What’s going to happen on Black Friday?

Kinner, who is also part of the National Federation of Independent Business, said shoppers need to bring their gift lists, their credit cards and their patience because Santa is watching.

"Be nice because merchants can’t control it, it’s completely out of their hands. They have nothing to say about how this works," Kinner said.

Seventy percent of credit cards are expected to be chipped by the end of the year.

And all merchants are expected to be compliant with the new system by the end of 2017, when gas pumps are converted.

For some, the new technology is time wasted.

Others say those few extra seconds are worth longer term security.

As with any change, it will take some getting used to. 

Categories: KUSI