Deadline approaches for businesses to switch credit card readers

Last month we told you a big change was on the way for businesses and the credit card machines they use.

The change is supposed to help better protect you, but time is running out for businesses to make the switch.

We’ve all become accustomed to swiping our credit cards at the cash register. But come Oct. 1, you’ll most likely be asked to “dip” your card into a slot.

“You as a small business person need to pay attention to that deadline and make sure that you upgrade your equipment to accept that chip reader,” said Hawaii Better Business Bureau CEO Greg Dunn.

The new cards have a chip inside of them. Each time you use your card, a unique transaction code will be generated which can’t be used again. So even if someone steals that code, it’s almost like having an expired password.

“It will prevent those people from making fake credit cards, because they’ll be able to make a credit card with a magnetic strip on it but they won’t be able to duplicate the chip technology at least not initially,” Dunn explained.

For businesses, the change also means that the financial burden of credit card fraud shifts from the banks to the merchants if businesses fail to switch over to the new chip readers.

“It doesn’t matter how small or large you are, you have to change your POS (point of sale) or your terminal,” said Sheri Sakamoto, president, Retail Merchants of Hawaii. “That’s critical because the new credit cards will now have to be read by microchip system.”

Sheri Sakamoto says there are more than 19,000 retailers around the state that will be affected by the change. She says most of the large retailers have already switched over, but many of the smaller businesses are slow to catch on.

“For some, it depends on how old their systems are, what their systems will read in terms of software. It could cost anywhere from $100 all the way up to $20,000,” Sakamoto said.

Sakamoto says she’ll continue to work with businesses over the next several weeks so they understand what’s at stake.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also send an email to

credit card with smart chip

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