There are no new credit card chip laws, because the government isn’t regulating the U.S. switch to EMV, chip-enabled cards. Nobody will get arrested or fined for using a credit or debit card without a chip in it, nor will merchants face legal consequences for not updating to EMV-compliant payment terminals.
The EMV transition in the U.S. is a push by the credit card industry to stop costly fraudulent charges, because research shows that EMV is a more secure and fraud-resistant payment method. There may not be legal consequences for merchants who don’t adopt chip-and-pin payment processing, but there are financial consequences. Since October 1, 2015, merchants operating without chip-enabled payment systems have been on the hook for fraudulent charges, rather than credit card companies.
Because of those changes, chipped credit cards are becoming commonplace. In 2018, 53.5% of card-present purchases in the U.S. were made using EMV-enabled cards on EMV-compliant payment systems, according to digitaltransactions.net. That’s more than a 10% increase from 2017. And 97% of all payment value in the U.S. happens on EMV-enabled cards, according to a 2018 Visa report.
The transition seems to be achieving its intended effect, too. Merchants with EMV-enabled payment systems have seen a 75% drop in lost fraud dollars since September 2015, according to a 2018 Visa study.
For now, gas stations are the only merchants getting a pass on liability until October 1, 2020. Even though credit card fraud at the gas pump is perceived to be on the rise, the mandate gave those retailers five extra years to become EMV-compliant. That’s because EMV upgrades to gas pumps can be more costly and invasive than upgrades at other types of retailers.