The way you pay with a credit card will start to change on October 1 -- here's what you should know

FullSizeRender (10)Kathleen ElkinsExpect to start receiving new cards in the mail with a microchip on the front.

Paying with a credit card has become like clockwork for most of us. We don’t even have to think about swiping the plastic in our wallets.

Come October 1, 2015, things will start to change, due to the nationwide migration to EMV technology.

With EMV — which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa — you’ll start “dipping” your credit and debit cards into a terminal slot.

Rather than reading the magnetic stripe on the back of your card, payment processing systems will read a microchip on the front of your card, which aims to improve security and reduce fraud.

Here’s what you should know as the October 1 deadline approaches:

This article was written by Business Insider without the involvement of Merrill Lynch.

You'll automatically get a new card in the mail.

About 600 million card users will have EMV cards by the end of the year.

All the issuers have different timelines -- while some banks have already started mailing out EMV cards, others are farther behind.

About 120 million Americans have already received an EMV chip card, according to Smart Card Alliance, and that number should jump to 600 million by the end of 2015.

Your new card will still have the magstripe on it to accommodate merchants without the new payment processing technology.

Expect the transition to be uncomfortable for a while.

Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
The new payment method will take a while to get used to.

Dipping your credit card isn't necessarily difficult, but it's different. We're completely altering the way we've been paying for years, and it's going to feel uncomfortable at the beginning.

'Technically it's not hard, but some people who have been doing it in a certain way for many years will probably be confused at the beginning,' says Sebastiao.

Expect longer transactions and consequently, longer lines, especially initially. 'The readers are a bit different, so it actually extends the amount of time that the payment takes by many multiples,' Olson says.

Additionally, Olson expects people to forget their card more often. Target, which has already set up its stores to accept chip cards, has the machine beep loudly if a customer leaves their card behind to combat this problem.

EMV is not the end-all solution to fraud.

'EMV is a baby step in the right direction,' says Olson, but not a comprehensive solution by any means.

'Your card still has one account number on the front of your card,' Olson explains. 'If you hand your card off, you're still exposing your account number. Now, it's more likely that someone's going to want to try to use that online or with merchants that aren't EMV-enabled. The chip is very hard to clone or make counterfeit copies, but everything else from a security standpoint isn't much of an improvement from what we have now, unfortunately.'

Until credit card security makes any more significant strides, it's important to keep in mind best practices when using your card, such as monitoring your transactions for fraudulent activity and being mindful of where you're making purchases.

This article was written by Business Insider without the involvement of Merrill Lynch.

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