North Texas Daily

Credit card chips only increase problems

Credit card chips only increase problems

Credit card chips only increase problems
October 12
15:57 2016

If you’ve used a credit card in the past couple of months, you’ve experienced the havoc that chip readers have instilled in consumerism. Although the cards are supposed to be more secure, their confusing nature leads to longer processes.

First off, some of the machines equipped for chip reading don’t work. You psych yourself up to shove your card in that awkward little slot under the keypad, only to look like a babbling idiot when the cashier mumbles, “Oh, we don’t do the chip reader,” like you’re supposed to know that already. There’s no point in spending the extra money for the machines if you’re not going to use them. It’s confusing to give consumers a new way to pay for things without properly introducing it.

Stores need to choose one way of paying and stick with it. With some places offering chip readers and some not, you’re always on the fence about what payment option to use. Perhaps this is a very minimal, trivial thing, but the annoyance is enough to ruin your day. Stores need to sit down and all agree: are we using the silly chip reader or not? I’m tired of trying only to be let down, again and again.

The new readers also tend to take up far more time than the normal swipe method does. You insert your card. The machine tells you to wait and not remove your card. You wait around awkwardly. You think about making small talk with the cashier, but you’re unsure of what to say. The weather hasn’t been so nice lately. It’s too short of a period to ask about politics or anything of substance. So instead, you wait in stunning silence with bated breath as seconds pass by.

How long has it been? Five, 10 seconds? An entire minute? The waiting period is just the right amount of time to begin self-loathing and overthinking your purchases. The whole endeavor could make one into a very anti-capitalistic individual.

Finally, the machine beeps angrily at you and allows you to remove your card. It will not destroy the capitalist system today. Maybe chip readers would be better if they gave you motivational speeches or beeped happily instead. I’d certainly spend more money if I heard Tom Haverford from “Parks and Recreation” telling me to treat myself rather than a machine beeping at me angrily.

On top of consumer annoyances, the new chip cards force more nuisances on retailers. On Oct. 1, 2015, outlets that hadn’t upgraded their systems became liable for any fraudulent Visa, MasterCard or Discover purchase. American Express put this liability on retailers Oct. 16 of that year.

Putting a liability on retailers to have chip readers is pretty daunting, considering the machines only went mainstream within the last six months. By practically forcing retailers to get these machines, card companies are putting those customers who don’t at risk. Thieves will target non-chip machines because they are much easier to get information from.

Changes are necessary and added security should always be welcome. Chips won’t solve everything, though. Online purchases are still incredibly susceptible to security problems. More and more people buy goods and services online.

Security comes at a price, but don’t expect chips to save the world. Don’t expect it to get any less annoying anytime soon, either.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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1 Comment

  1. Josh
    Josh October 12, 20:53

    Possibly the dumbest article I’ve ever read.

    Reply to this comment

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