What You Need to Know About the New Chip Cards

by Wade Barnes 19. October 2015

On October 1, there was a major shift in the way debit and credit card fraud is handled. If you didn’t notice the change, you’re not alone. Read on to discover how this shift could affect you.

Have you recently received a new debit or credit card in the mail? If so, it is likely enabled with new EMV chip technology. EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, has become the standard across the globe for debit and credit card transactions. The United States is one of the last countries to adopt the EMV technology. The EMV cards, or chip cards, include a chip which reduces the risk of fraud. With the chip, each transaction has a unique code assigned to it, unlike the magnetic stripe that contains unchanged data that can easily be replicated. If someone were to steal the information from a magnetic stripe, the data could be replicated over and over again. If a fraudster stole chip card information, duplicating the transaction would never work because the unique code can only be used once. Essentially, the adoption of chips cards is an effort to reduce the significant amount of fraud seen in the United States.

If you haven’t yet received a chip card, don’t worry. If your card provider is opting to switch over to the EMV compatible system, you will automatically receive a new debit or credit card in the mail. It is the card provider’s responsibility to make the choice if their customers are going to have EMV compatible cards, which many already have or plan to do.

As of October 1, 2015, the way that fraud is handled with these new chip/EMV-compliant cards shifted significantly. Before October 1, if a fraudulent transaction using a chip card occurs on a magnetic stripe terminal (an establishment that had not yet switched over to EMV technology), the card issuer would be liable for the costs. Now, that liability has shifted to the merchant. Merchants can reduce their liability for fraud by installing the new EMV compatible payment terminals. Luckily, this shift does not directly impact consumers.

You can still use the EMV card on a traditional magnetic stripe reader. Because the EMV technology is so new and merchants are still adjusting, the chip cards that are being issued are equipped with both EMV and magnetic stripe capabilities.

Overall, consumers can expect little impact from these new cards and terminals. Consumers should be excited that steps are being made to protect them from fraud with no action or cost required at their expense. The cards are safe and a step forward in fraud protection in the United States.

Ways to Save on Halloween

by Bill Dennison 14. October 2015

Mariner Halloween

As much as it hurts to say it, summer is officially over. To help us cope with this fact, there are plenty of fall activities to look forward to such as: exploring corn mazes, apple picking, cider drinking, and eating pumpkin flavored everything. Perhaps one of the biggest events we have to look forward to in fall is Halloween!

While Halloween doesn’t quite stretch the wallet as much as the holiday season, the cost of costumes, candy, and other festive goods can really add up. Below are some great ways to save money and help make Halloween a little less scary this year:


Anyone who has looked through Halloween costumes at the mall or department stores can tell you that they are not cheap. Luckily, department store Halloween costumes are not the only option! A homemade costume can be charming, cheap, and often better looking than a store bought one, even for those of us who are not the most creative.  Here are a few simple and effective ideas:

Witch: This old stand-by is a favorite. The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The only thing you need to buy is a witch’s hat. For the rest of the costume, an old, dark dress and dark leggings are all you need! (For an added effect, use a mascara pencil to draw age lines and boils on your face.)

Cat: There’s a reason this costume seems to be a big hit at the office: simplicity. Take a black headband and attach cat ears made of black felt to it. Then, find (or buy) a black sweatshirt. Now all you need is an eyeliner pencil to draw on the whiskers. This simple costume is really the cat’s meow!

Harry Potter: You don’t have to have a bank account as big as this boy wizard’s in order to pull off this costume! A black sweater, a red tie, and a pair of old glasses are all that is needed. Then, get out that trusty eyeliner pencil for the lightning bolt scar and you have your streamlined famous boy wizard costume all set!


Handing out candy for Trick-or-Treat can be just as fun as receiving candy. But buying all those fun-size candy bars can lead to a not-so-fun-sized bill. However, there are ways around having to skip a meal just to be able to afford candy for all the ghouls and goblins that come to your front door.

Instead of buying your candy at major department stores, consider buying it at local thrift stores. You can often find generic candy that is just as tasty yet not as expensive. Also, consider candy alternatives. While nobody wants to be the person handing out toothbrushes, you can often find packs of cheap Halloween themed toys or small packs or crayons that are perfect for handing out and giving everyone’s treat bag a little extra variety.


Halloween decorations do not need to cost an arm and a leg. Your local discount store is sure to have some great decorative items and the best part is that most of them are reusable. Here are some suggestions of reusable Halloween decorations that you can find for less than $5: fake spiders, plastic pumpkins and styrofoam tomb stones.

Using these tips this Halloween will surely help you save a little money so you can keep the cobwebs for decoration and out of your wallet!

Wade Barnes Named to Meals on Wheels Board of Directors

by Admin 9. October 2015

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to the Baltimore community, we recently launched a Random Acts of Kindness campaign. All around town, our employees are doing the little things to brighten someone’s day, say thanks to those who keep us safe or make memories that will last a lifetime.

We have employees who have taken this message of kindness and service to extraordinary lengths. Wade Barnes is one of them.

Wade was recently selected as a board member for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (MOWCM), an organization that helps those in need eat well while remaining in their homes. Last year, MOWCM delivered over 1 million nutritious meals to people in our area.

Wade understands the importance and intersection of community, health and food. A healthy meal offers a social bonding experience among family and friends. For many people who are homebound, the delivery of food to their homes offers a great (and sometimes the only) opportunity for social interaction with the volunteers and drivers. When coupled with the nutritional meal itself, this allows many people to remain in their homes and independent much longer than would otherwise be an option.

Witnessing his grandmother’s need for care increase over the past few years spurred Wade to support this important organization. He recognized that MOWCM fills a void for families who aren’t so fortunate and gives them options. Its vision and mission resonated with his values, and our values as well.

As a board member, Wade will help steward MOWCM to serve and comfort even more people in our community. We are proud of his efforts and the example he sets of himself, his family, community and 1st Mariner Bank.


© 2008- 1st Mariner Bank