How the checkout line will be different this holiday season

By: Trae Bodge, Retail Expert

Dec 04, 2015, 12:28 ET from Trae Bodge

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- It's hard to believe but another holiday season is officially upon us and with it trees, traditions and of course, shopping. And when you get to the store, you may notice that things are a little different at the register.  For the first time ever, many people will be "dipping" instead of swiping their credit cards at the checkout line. 

Maybe you've already received your chip, or EMV (Europay, Mastercard Visa)-enabled, card from your bank or have already 'dipped' your card to make a purchase. But whether you're new to this or already a seasoned pro, here are some tips I put together with my friends at the American Bankers Association to prepare you to be a star shopper this holiday season.

Tip 1: Why you're getting a chip now.  Banks are continuing to improve credit card security to help protect customers against risks including retailer data breaches. Chip cards do just that by creating a one-time transaction code that can't be guessed or re-used. If you haven't received a chip-enabled debit or credit card yet, it's coming soon. And if you notice a retailer isn't using chip terminals yet, they might be by your next visit.  

Tip 2: You have to dip in order to be protected. If you have a chip-enabled card, the only way to benefit from its security is by dipping – not swiping. Chip cards still have the magnetic stripe for use at businesses that don't have chip terminals, but they won't protect against counterfeit fraud if a retailer is breached.  How to dip? Just insert your card into the slot and remove it only when the message on the screen indicates to do so.  And don't worry, you won't forget your card. The machine will beep if the card stays in too long.

Tip 3: Stay calm, you're not liable. Remember – whether you dip or swipe, you still are not held liable for fraudulent purchases. Until October 1, 2015 banks had been required to pay for credit and debit card fraud.  Now, whoever has the oldest technology when counterfeit fraud occurs – bank or merchant – determines who covers the fraud costs.  Banks monitor accounts for fraudulent activity, but you should too.  If I ever suspect fraudulent purchases on my card, I always reach out to my bank!  It's particularly important to be vigilant during the holidays and monitor your statements closely. 

Happy shopping!

SOURCE Trae Bodge