This is the day when credit cards are supposed to change forever, thanks to a small embedded computer chip that will make many transactions more secure. But Thursday's "deadline" for merchants to support the new EMV technology — or face the consequences if fraud occurs — is really a soft target, and consumers are unlikely to notice any dramatic changes or encounter difficulties as they make their shopping rounds.
The biggest change is behavioral. Instead of swiping a chip credit card, customers must now insert the end of the card with the chip into a card reader and then, after waiting several seconds, complete the purchase with a signature or a four-digit PIN. This procedure has been dubbed the "dip."