The way in which stores accept credit cards in person is about to change. If your credit card came with a little gold chip on the front you will notice. When you slide your card in person you will receive a message telling you that you must use this as an EMV chip card. This means that you will insert it into the machine and you may have to enter a pin. Much like you do with an ATM card.
This type of credit card is already commonly used in Canada and Europe. The card helps to combat credit card fraud by making it more difficult to clone or copy a card. The main benefit of this is that it will make it more difficult for criminals to benefit from using a skimmer. Even if the criminals are able to get a copy of the magnetic strip of your credit card with a skimmer, when they try to use the cards at a store, it will inform them that they must use the chip to complete the transaction. The scammers will not be able to complete the chip transaction so the fraud will be prevented.
Businesses are being pushed into switching to chip readers by an upcoming liability switch on October 1st. After that date if the business swipes a chip credit card, the business will be liable for any fraud from the card, since they should have read the chip instead. This only affects businesses that take the credit card in person.
So get ready to have to insert your credit card into the reader if it has a chip. If you receive a pin for your credit card in the mail you need to memorize it, because you will not be able to use your card in person without it.