There's a good chance your bank may have sent you a new credit or debit card with a chip in it recently, says Wimp.com. While chip readers are becoming more and more common, there are still many businesses that have not yet adopted the technology. In this situation, you can still swipe the magnetic strip. However, new reports suggest that might not be a great idea.
According to Good Housekeeping, when you swipe a chip card instead of inserting it into the chip reader, the merchant becomes responsible for covering fraudulent charges rather than the bank. If a merchant cannot afford to cover fraudulent charges, then you, the consumer, wind up having to pay for any theft dealing with the card.
The reason for the introduction of chip cards in the first place was to increase security following a string of data leaks by hackers. Banks introduced the chip cards as a way to ensure that consumers are not responsible for fraudulent charges. However, this only applies when the chip reader is used. So by introducing a high-security alternative, the banks also put merchants and consumers in a difficult position if a store has not yet adapted.
Some retailers may not have installed the new readers yet and many say it is because the certification process on the credit card companies' end can take too long -- up to six months in some cases.
Be careful about swiping your chip card. If it's your only option, it is suggested that you pay close attention to your bank statements and keep an eye out for fraudulent charges.