"Virtually all — except for Radio Shack — have installed checkout terminals with the card slots for these chip cards, but most of them did not work. They had not turned on the system yet," Dworsky told NBC News.
Only 10 chains in the ConsumerWorld survey have enabled the chip card function chainwide: Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, Macy's, Old Navy, Rite Aid, Sam's Club, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.
Big-name national and regional retailers that cannot accept chip cards at some or all of their stores include: Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Costco, Foot Locker, Kmart, Kohl's, Kroger, Marshalls, Michaels, PetSmart, Safeway, Sears, Sports Authority, Staples, Stop & Shop, T.J. Maxx, Toys R Us and Whole Foods.
"It seems crazy that all of this money is being spent to send out replacement cards and to install all the new payment terminals at these big-name stores, but nothing has really changed - the security is no better," Dworsky commented. "Plus, it's really frustrating and confusing for shoppers who see the new terminals and don't know whether to swipe or dip their credit card."
EMV cards were developed to make credit card transactions more secure. The smart chip cards have two important advantages over traditional magnetic-strip cards. First, it's harder for fraudsters to make a fake physical card. Secondly, even if the bad guys get a hold of the transactional code, it's worthless because it works only one time.
NBC News contacted many of these retailers to find out why they had not yet made the switch.