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You’re probably familiar with this situation: You’re at the register, get your plastic out to pay, and then wait for the store clerk to tell you whether you’re supposed to insert your chip-enabled credit card in the terminal or swipe the card.

Given new network fraud liability rules went into effect in October 2015, magnetic strip credit cards have been steadily replaced with EMV-enabled chip cards, so many Americans carry them now. However, that doesn’t mean we are using them every time we make a purchase, as not every retailer has flipped the switch on the updated technology yet.

But, according to the Visa U.S. Chip Update report for June 2016, the U.S. added more than 100,000 chip-enabled merchant locations in June of this year. With this increase, an estimated 28% of merchants now use this technology, making the U.S. the largest chip market in the world, the report notes.

And, even though Visa reports that our country is now chip-laden, all states are not equal when it comes to adapting to this technology. It is slowly rolling out nationwide, and cards can still be used in all states, but New Jersey is noted as having the largest percentage of chip-ready merchants followed by Pennsylvania, California, Connecticut and Florida, where one in three merchants are chip-enabled.

These are the 10 states with the most merchants who are chip-ready.

  1. New Jersey
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. California
  4. Connecticut
  5. Florida
  6. Michigan
  7. New York
  8. Delaware
  9. Ohio
  10. West Virginia


Information about U.S. merchant locations is based on VisaNet data as of the end of June 2016. Visa reviewed operating certificate data from client financial institutions at the end of March 2016 to evaluate global card usage. Visa also compared chip-enabled merchants’ data from March 2016 to March 2015, using both U.S.-issued credit and debit cards, to review counterfeit fraud data.

The Visa report noted that chip technology may have played a role in decreasing credit card fraud, with chip-enabled merchants seeing a 35% drop in counterfeit fraud in March 2016 compared to the same month previous year.

Protecting Your Credit Card Information

Still, no matter whether your local merchants have upgraded to chip technology or not, nothing is fool-proof. EMV chips may provide extra security in-store, for instance, but they don’t guard against theft online. This is why it’s a good idea to check your credit card statements every month for fraudulent charges.

And, if you have reason to believe your personal data has been compromised, you can review your credit reports as well. When reviewing your reports you want to look for signs your identity has been stolen, like a sudden drop in your credit scores or new accounts showing up that you don’t recognize. You can get a copy of your annual credit reports for free at Annual CreditReport.com and you can see your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.

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Image: Petar Chernaev

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