SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The deadline for banks across the country to make a change to their ATMs to process chip-enabled debit and credit cards arrived on Friday.
The security is intended to protect consumers and their banks from fraud with a unique code being used for each transaction.
That means criminals who skim and clone your card information, can’t steal your money without your physical card and chip.
While you might think banks would rush to equip their ATMs with the technology, it seems many are taking their time.
Chip-enabled credit and debit cards have been in many consumers’ hands for more than a year.
But a large number of stores and ATMs still don’t have the technology in place to process those chip cards.
The reason behind the slow rate of adoption may be cost.
Consumerworld.org’s Edgar Dworsky said that October 21 was the deadline set by Mastercard for banks to install chip-reading technology.
Banks without chip enabled ATM’s will now be held financially liable for fraudulent transactions at those cash machines.
Mastercard told ConsumerWatch the compliance rate is between 35 and 40 percent.
Yet it’s online ATM locator shows only 778 chip-enabled ATMs within 25 miles of San Francisco. That is about 13 percent..
The company admits its website isn’t completely comprehensive.
The reason that many banks still haven’t made the switch could be the expense of upgrading all their ATMs.
Not everybody thinks the change is coming fast enough. The U.S. Payments Forum, a trade group that represents banks, merchants and technology companies, had expected half the retailers — not one-third — to be chip enabled by now.
And the American Banking Association points out that only one-third of customers have chip-enabled cards.
Still, they tell ConsumerWatch banks are ramping up.
In the meantime, banks are liable if a crook drains your checking account at a non-chip ATM.
But unlike credit cards, with a skimmed debit card, there is no telling how long you could lose access to your cash.
ConsumerWatch contacted the two biggest banks in the Bay Area to see where they were in terms of compliance, Bank of America said it ATMs are 90 percent converted. Wells Fargo said its ATMs are 100 percent converted.
Currently only about one-third of retailers have payment systems that currently accept chip cards.
Security experts say the security tipping point will come when both the percentages of people with chip cards and businesses with chip-card readers hit 60 percent.
The deadline for gas stations is next year.