Episode 695: Put A Chip On It : Planet Money Credit cards with chips in them have been around for four decades. So why is America only getting them now? And now that they are here, why are so few places using them?

Episode 695: Put A Chip On It

Episode 695: Put A Chip On It

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Credit cards and debit cards have tons of safety features. The extra security code on the back. Sometimes your picture. Your signature. That little hologram of a bird that nobody looks at.

But, until recently, there's been a big safety feature missing from credit cards in the U.S.: The chip. It was rolled out to stop fraud in France decades ago. It worked. Every other major economy adopted it, except us. Until now.

What took so long for it to get here? And now that it is here, why have so few stores adopted it? Today on the show, we bring you a brief history of what's in your pocket. It's a story of convenience vs. fraud--and it also includes a hippie inventor, the origin of the last great upgrade on your card, the magnetic stripe, and why it takes so long to "dip the chip."


In the podcast, we ask for your help. How long does it take for you to complete a transaction with your credit card chip? Fill out this form to let us know. The results may appear on an upcoming episode.

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