Most of us have seen them (or seen the little chip icons in grocery store readers) but how many of us are actually good at using the chip readers, if we’ve even gotten the opportunity at all? Keep reading for an answer to “How do I use a chip card reader?” as well as a few more answers to frequently asked questions about chip credit cards.
Chip cards in the US
While chip credit cards have been used in Europe for quite some time, they are fairly new to the United States. Fortunately using them is a pretty straightforward (though it may take a little while to get down pat).
- Insert your card into the card reader. Your card will face up (so the chip is facing you) and the slot to insert it is usually toward the bottom of the reader.
- Follow the instructions on the screen. Usually it will process for a little and then tell you that you are approved and can remove the card.
- Many places required a signature, in which case you can sign right on the screen. In Europe, many chip card require a PIN number, but that is not common in the US
- Always remember to remove your card and put it in a safe place when you are finished
That’s all there is to using a chip credit card reader. The motions do take a little getting used to, but the payoff after that learning process is greater security every time you used your credit card.
What if I don’t have a chip card?
Most businesses still have the ability to use magnetic strips, even if they have shifted to chip reading for those who have enabled cards. Though the big start for chip card readers was October 1, 2015, experts predict that there will be a fairly long stretch of time when stores will be able to read both chips and magnetic strips.