TECHNOLOGY AND MONEY
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHIP-CARD TECHNOLOGY?
When you’re checking out items at the store, should you insert your card into the payment terminal? These days, as the use of chip-card technology grows, the answer to that question is less clear. The computer chip now embedded in debit and credit cards uses EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) technology, which is meant to reduce fraud at physical retail stores (as opposed to online shops). But because businesses aren’t required to upgrade their terminals, it’s confusing to figure out what to do at the register. Here are answers to some questions you might have about chip cards.
How does it work? Magnetic strip cards contain information within the strip, so it’s easy for a thief to “capture” that information and use it to accrue charges without the cardholder’s knowledge. By contrast, the chip card generates a unique, specific code for each transaction that cannot be reused.
Why does it take longer to check out? The unique code generated by the chip for each transaction is sent to the bank by the payment terminal. The bank matches the code to an identical one-time code and sends it back as verification for the transaction. As a result, it takes a few seconds longer to check out using a chip card because it takes time for the information to be transmitted.
Why aren’t some terminals working yet? You might notice that terminals in some stores are equipped with a chip-card reader, but you’re told you can’t use it. These terminals are awaiting chip-card certification, which can take several months to process. Until their terminals are certified, retailers are responsible for any fraudulent charges.
How much longer will I have to carry a physical card? The answer to this question isn’t clear. However, it’s important to note that terminals with upgraded chip-card technology are also equipped with technology that can accept wireless near-field communication. This allows data to be exchanged between two different devices (e.g., a cell phone and a terminal) that are a short distance away. This means that one day, instead of swiping or inserting a card at the checkout, you might just be tapping the terminal to make payments.
HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP ME MANAGE MY MONEY?
It may seem that there’s an app or software program for every purpose, and that includes managing your money. Here are some examples where technology may be useful in helping you get a handle on your money.
Creating a budget: There are multiple apps available that enable you to input your monthly income and expenses to generate a budget that fits your needs. Plus, some programs are able to categorize and track transactions, which could help you see exactly how much you spend in certain areas on a month-to-month basis.
Setting reminders: Do you occasionally forget to pay a particular bill? Or are you looking for a regular reminder to keep an eye on your account balances? Look for an app that lets you schedule reminders that suit your needs, whether it’s an alarm that goes off for monthly bills or a service that automates payments you might otherwise forget to make.
Digitizing services: You’re probably aware of your bank’s direct-deposit services, but did you know that you can send payments, request refunds, and view transaction history using your bank’s mobile app? You can also find apps that feature calculators designed to help you make investment decisions, as well as determine your net worth, calculate the time value of your money, and estimate your insurance needs, among other things.
Shopping (and saving): Some apps are designed specifically to help you save money in a variety of ways, from searching for the best local deals to calculating the cost of driving from point A to point B. If you’d like to dial back your spending, look for an app that can help you cut costs. For example, apps can compare the cost of groceries at one store against another, or help you find the lowest gas prices in your area. That way, you can put the extra money you have from being a savvy shopper toward a long-term goal, such as retirement.
With some exploration, you may find additional money-related apps. But bear in mind that even though many apps and services promise security, technology isn’t always reliable, and you could fall victim to hackers. Think carefully before you provide information pertaining to your bank account and income/spending history.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016