Even as an Oct. 1 deadline approaches to replace Americans’ out-of-date credit cards with new cards embedded with computer chips, the vast majority of Americans still have not received their new cards and only a small minority are using the chips at all, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.
The poll finds that roughly one in 10 Americans have received the new chip-enabled credit cards. Of those who have received the cards, only one-third say they’ve actually used the cards as intended in new specialized credit card readers.
In an effort to combat mounting credit card fraud, U.S. banks are making a push to replace the magnetic-stripe credit cards Americans use with new ones that have tiny computer chips embedded in them, which are far more secure.
The older type of cards, long since been phased out in other major countries, have become easy targets for thieves, who have found multiple ways to exploit the security flaws in the decades-old magnetic stripe technology. Even though the U.S. counts for 25 percent of all credit card transactions, half of all credit card fraud happens in America, according to a report by Barclays.
The chip cards, which have been used in Europe and elsewhere for more than a decade, transmit a one-time code when they’re inserted into a card-reading device to make a purchase. Even if the code is stolen, thieves can’t use it to make other purchases.
The new chip cards can’t prevent a thief using a person’s stolen credit card information to make fraudulent purchases online, however.
The new poll shows Americans are more likely to say they’re very concerned about their personal information being secure when making purchases online (45 percent) than in stores (38 percent).
In 2012, Visa, MasterCard and other payment processors set a soft deadline of Oct. 1, 2015 for merchants to have their equipment changed to accept the new cards, but industry representatives estimate that only half of merchants will be ready in time. Banks say it will take well into 2016 to replace all Americans’ credit and debit cards.
Digging into the numbers, the poll finds 41 percent of Americans have received a new credit or debit card in the past few months. But only 30 percent of those who have received new cards, or 13 percent of all Americans, have received a new card with a chip embedded on the front of it. Of those who have received the card, 35 percent say they’ve actually used them as intended.
The new chip-enabled cards also come with magnetic stripes, and many users are still swiping them just like they always have. The new cards require users to insert their card into an ATM-like slot in a card reader for several seconds.
Briana Thompson, a college student in Northwest Ohio, said she received her new card around Christmas.
“I remember going ‘oh, wow, the card looks cool,’” Thompson said. “But I haven’t had a chance to use the chip. I haven’t encountered a merchant who accepts them.”
The poll shows that Americans, once given the cards, are figuring out how to use them. Among those who do have a new card, 70 percent say they know how to use it. But just a quarter of Americans, including a little over a third of those who have received the new cards, say they understand very or extremely well why they’re being sent the cards in the first place.
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9 to July 13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.
The national survey provides a glimpse into how Americans think water should be managed at a time when abnormally dry weather has afflicted swaths of the country, and water shortages in some states have led to conflict over who should get water and how much.
Two-thirds of Americans believe water is a limited resource that can be depleted if people use too much, the poll found, and 70 percent believe that government should restrict how much residents and businesses use when drought takes hold.
When asked to rate the importance of competing needs when water is scarce, 74 percent said agriculture should be a top or high priority, followed by residential needs (66 percent), wildlife and ecosystems (54 percent) and business and industry (42 percent).
To Cheryl Hendricks in parched California, it’s simple: To put food on the table “we rely on agriculture.”
“It’s getting kind of serious when you are not giving water to people who are producing food,” said Hendricks, 63, of Rancho Cucamonga, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
She and her husband are taking shorter showers and removing lawn in response to California’s four-year drought, but for growers and ranchers “it’s more important for them to have it.”
The poll’s findings appear to run against criticism of farming practices that demand vast amounts of water. In California, for example, agriculture accounts for 80 percent of all water drawn from rivers, streams and the ground. Producing California’s almond crop consumes more water than all the showering, dish-washing and other indoor household water use of the state’s 39 million people.
The drought has been acute in California, where rainfall has dipped to record lows, reservoirs are depleted and state regulators have ordered conservation from cities, businesses and agriculture. Some communities have been given nine months to cut their use by 36 percent compared to 2013 levels.
Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, is hovering near its historic low water mark and residents in the Las Vegas area have limits on lawn watering. In Oakridge in western Oregon, a community well is 23 feet below normal and restrictions prevent residents from washing cars and filling swimming pools.
“We need to take care of people first — and food,” said William Clarke-Jessimy, 33, from Queens, New York, who thinks homes and agriculture should be favored for water rights.
He’s watched prices spike for California fresh fruits and vegetables in his local markets, and he worries about friends and family in the San Francisco area who are living with the scarcity of water, with no relief in sight.
“It’s really scary,” he said. “They need to find ways to deal with the drought on a long-term basis. I don’t think a lot of people realize how bad it really is.”
Earlier this month, the House passed Republican-backed legislation designed to bring more water to California’s farm belt. Republicans have blamed some cutbacks on environmental regulations designed to protect salmon and the threatened Delta smelt, a three-inch-long fish that is disappearing. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed spending $1.3 billion over a decade for reservoirs, desalination projects and water recycling.
According to the survey, Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to call water for agriculture a top priority, 81 percent to 74 percent, respectively. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to see water for wildlife and ecosystems as a top need, 61 percent to 49 percent.
There was little variation in regions around the nation in picking top priorities.
The poll also found most Americans — nearly 80 percent — think government should limit developers to building only in places with an adequate, long-term water supply.
The advocacy group Food & Water Watch has urged Gov. Jerry Brown to place a moratorium on groundwater use for irrigating crops in some parts of the heavily farmed San Joaquin Valley. California director Adam Scow said the poll’s findings reflect that people value food production but the group believes “we simply don’t have the water” to support crops in some drought stricken regions.
David Abbott has witnessed the toll in his hometown.
The resident of Winton, California, in the heart of the state’s Central Valley farm belt, has seen fields turn to dusty patches and farm workers end up jobless. Friends’ wells have gone dry.
In California, farmers have seen allocations of water from rivers and reservoirs slashed by government agencies in amounts greater than at any other time in California history, forcing many to tap depleted groundwater sources or buy it at high prices.
Abbott, 27, a part-time college business professor, places home use and the needs of agriculture on about equal footing. For his part, he’s watering less outdoors at home, has changed shower heads to conserve and waits to get a full load of dirty laundry before turning on the washing machine.
“I know it’s hard when we don’t have water,” said Abbott, who lives amid farms and almond orchards. “They say we are going to have a real wet winter, but I don’t think that’s going to be enough.”
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9-13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly three-fourths of Americans think the United States should have diplomatic ties with Cuba, but they’re not sure how far to go in lifting sanctions, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Monday as full diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally restored.
“Relations between Cuba and the U.S. I think are long overdue. There’s no threat there,” said Alex Bega, 30, of Los Angeles. “I think the sanctions we have on them are pretty much obsolete.”
The resumption of normal ties ended decades of acrimony between the two nations that was hardened when President John F. Kennedy and Cuba’s Fidel Castro fought over Soviet expansion in the Americas. The new diplomatic status, however, does not erase lingering disputes, such as mutual claims for economic reparations, Havana’s desire to end a more than 50-year-old trade embargo and the U.S. push for Cuba to improve human rights and democracy.
The new poll also found that 58 percent of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Havana while 40 disapprove. By contrast, only 39 percent approve of his handling of the U.S. role in world affairs more generally, while 59 percent disapprove.
“I just disapprove of his politics in general,” said Julie Smith, 40, a university administrator from Bowling Green, Kentucky. “I just don’t think that us trying to improve relations with Cuba is beneficial to the United States.”
Respondents were split on what to do about the sanctions on Cuba. Forty-eight percent thought they should be decreased or eliminated entirely while 47 percent favored keeping them at their current level or increasing them. Five percent didn’t answer.
The story was different when it came to Iran.
Seventy-seven percent said they thought sanctions on Tehran should be kept where they are or increased, according to the poll, which was conducted just days before the U.S. signed an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Under the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions.
Mary Barry, 57, of Arlington, Texas, is happy that the Obama administration opened diplomatic efforts with both Cuba and Iran, but is wary about lifting sanctions on the two countries.
“I think we need to have diplomatic relations with Iran and monitor their nuclear weapon,” said Berry, who works producing and staging corporate business meetings. But, she said: “I think we need to keep the sanctions in place on Iran to make sure they’re doing what they’ve promised they’re going to do because I think Iran is a country that you can’t really trust.”
On Cuba, she thinks it’s “just time” to restore diplomatic relations. But she favors a gradual lifting of sanctions on Cuba. “I don’t think they should be lifted immediately,” she said.
There is some momentum in Congress, however, to lift the trade embargo.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., backs a bipartisan bill in the Senate to lift the embargo, which she said must be done for the U.S. to avoid losing investment opportunities that will come with loosening of travel restrictions to the island.
“Once millions of American tourists are going, they will need places to stay and they will need food to eat. … So when they come, they are going to be starting to sleep in Spanish hotels and eat German foods because those countries will be able to supply what they need in the tourism industry, not to mention the computers and Wi-Fi and everything else,” Klobuchar said in an interview.
She predicted the legislation, which has 20 co-sponsors so far, would pass, although maybe not this year. “I know there are some people who have long been opposed to this,” she said.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey thinks the Obama administration’s work to restore relations is an attempt to validate the Castro regime’s “brutal behavior.”
“I remain deeply concerned with ongoing human rights violations in Cuba,” Menendez said Monday. “There have been over 2,800 political arrests on the island this year alone.”
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9 to July 13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com
NEW YORK (AP) — The Supreme Court’s ruling last month legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide has left Americans sharply divided, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that suggests support for gay unions may be down slightly from earlier this year.
The poll also found a near-even split over whether local officials with religious objections should be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with 47 percent saying that should be the case and 49 percent say they should be exempt.
Overall, if there’s a conflict, a majority of those questioned think religious liberties should win out over gay rights, according to the poll. While 39 percent said it’s more important for the government to protect gay rights, 56 percent said protection of religious liberties should take precedence.
The poll was conducted July 9 to July 13, less than three weeks after the Supreme Court ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriage.
According to the poll, 42 percent support same-sex marriage and 40 percent oppose it. The percentage saying they favor legal same-sex marriage in their state was down slightly from the 48 percent who said so in an April poll. In January, 44 percent were in favor.
Asked specifically about the Supreme Court ruling, 39 percent said they approve and 41 percent said they disapprove.
“What the Supreme Court did is jeopardize our religious freedoms,” said Michael Boehm, 61, an industrial controls engineer from the Detroit area who describes himself as a conservative-leaning independent.
“You’re going to see a conflict between civil law and people who want to live their lives according to their faiths,” Boehm said.
Boehm was among 59 percent of the poll respondents who said wedding-related businesses with religious objections should be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. That compares with 52 percent in April.
Also, 46 percent said businesses more generally should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, while 51 percent said that should not be allowed.
Claudette Girouard, 69, a retiree from Chesterfield Township, Michigan, said she is a moderate independent voter who has gradually become supportive of letting same-sex couples marry.
“I don’t see what the big hoopla is,” she said. “If they’re happy, why not?”
Girouard said local officials should be required to perform same-sex marriages, but does not think that wedding-related businesses should be forced to serve same-sex couples.
“If the official doesn’t like what he’s being asked to do, then quit,” she said. “But businesses are kind of independent, so if they have a strong belief against it, there are enough other businesses out there for someone to use.”
The poll found pronounced differences in viewpoints depending on political affiliation.
For example, 65 percent of Democrats, but only 22 percent of Republicans favored allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in their state. And 72 percent of Republicans but just 31 percent of Democrats said local officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses.
By a 64-32 margin, most Democrats said it’s more important to protect gay rights than religious liberties when the two are in conflict. Republicans said the opposite, by 82-17.
Clarence Wells, 60, a conservative from Rockwood, Tennessee, said he strongly disapproved of the Supreme Court’s ruling. He anticipates friction as gay couples try to exercise their newfound rights and people with religious objections to same-sex marriage balk at accepting them.
“I don’t believe it’s going to go over smoothly,” said Wells. “I think a lot of them will be shunned in church. … I think there will businesses that are going to close, because some people are stubborn enough to not want to deal with it.”
Andrew Chan, 41, a moderate independent from Seattle, said he has tried to remain neutral on same-sex marriage.
“For me, it’s always been about tolerating,” said Chan, who works for a nonprofit organization. “I’ve got friends on both sides.”
Chan said he was happy for gays and lesbians who have found someone they want to marry, and he expressed some wariness toward politicians who might try to roll back the Supreme Court ruling.
“That just creates more division,” he said. “Are we looking to move the country forward or move it backward?”
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9 to July 13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Some questions were ask of half samples of respondents and have smaller margins of error. Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.
Swanson reported from Washington.
AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com