In order to increase the security with which card-mediated electronic transactions take place, the credit and debit card industry is transitioning from a swipe-only card form factor to a chip-and-swipe model. Even if the main card number remains the same, the millions of newly-issued chip-and-swipe cards users will be getting contain new expiration dates. In order to keep the virtual wheels of e-commerce humming, they’ll need to update these payment details with the merchants they do business with, according to Wells Fargo spokesperson Kristopher Dahl, who today told Etopia News:
“If you receive a newly issued chip card and you activate the chip card, your old card will no longer be active. You should update merchants with your new card information, including your new expiration date. This is the most reliable way of making sure the services you pay for by using your card will remain available.”
“Wells Fargo subscribes to the Visa® Account Updater Service (VAU). Wells Fargo provides the new/updated information to this service. Merchants have to subscribe to this service and not all merchants subscribe to it. If the merchant subscribes to the VAU Service the merchant will receive this update but as a cardholder with a new card number or new expiration date, you should contact the merchant to make sure. Changes to your Card number as a result of a lost/stolen Card will not be provided to the Visa Account updater service if there is reported fraud on the Card number that is being replaced, and you must contact merchants to notify them of your new Card information. Because not all merchants or billing entities subscribe to the VAU Service, you should always notify each individual merchant of your new card information. Please review your account statements for any additional merchants you may need to notify.”
Netflix recently blamed difficulties caused by this transition for lower-than-expected user growth, caused by “involuntary churn,” as you can read here.