Security is an important issue with credit cards, and even more so in today’s digital age. Online shopping, swiping and otherwise non human points of sale make the traditional safeguards obsolete, the days when your card was compared to your identification to see if the user was the person who was using the card are long gone, even in those face to face situations the card rarely leaves your own hand and is slid through a machine at the point of sale. Couple this with inattentive sales people and fast paced service, it has been real easy to steal someones credit.
There have been recent advancements in the safety and security of credit cards in the form of EVM chips, or Europay/MasterCard/Visa the companies spearheading the technology. There are things that you should familiarize yourself with when it come to this new technology and how it will effect your everyday life.
Factors to Know
- It is safe, for now
- It is PIN free, for now
- It is easy to use
- It is not universal yet
1. You Still Need to Protect Yourself
While the new technology is still being implemented you will still need to protect yourself and your card, and while the liability may be shifting from merchants to banks or issuers to networks and so forth, it is still incumbent upon you to take care of your cards and make sure that they do not fall into the hands of bad people and criminals.
And it is still solely upon you to report fraud if you suspect it, you need to call and immediately report that to them so they can shut down the card and prevent the continued use. If you wait for them to flag your account it may be to late.
2. The New Technology Is Not Everywhere Yet
Although technology spreads at the speed of sound these days, not all merchants are equipped with the new machines that will read the new chip cards. There are a couple of reasons for this, one is that the technology is new, and that the switch over is costly and time consuming, and the second is that smaller retailers may not be able to update to the new technology regardless of the required use, because of the sheer cost.
After the date required for the shift to the new required technology, a merchant could be held completely responsible for the loss due to credit card identity theft, so the shift to the new technology is an important step in the process and the elimination of credit card theft.
3. You Can Still Use Your Old Card
Don’t panic, if you have not been issued a new card yet, you are fine, you can still use your old card until your bank issues you your new one, this may not happen until your next renewal cycle on your card, or it may happen sooner. If you are in doubt, contact your bank and see if and when they are sending you an updated card. In the mean time, you can use your card as usual. There should be no issues.
4. Well, What is It
What is this new technology, and how does it work. This new chip is imbedded in your car, you slip the card into the machine at the point of checkout, and the chip has a new and unique code for every transaction, therefore, if there is technology skimming the machine it may be able to get your number, but the chip, or lack thereof, on future attempts to use the card by the would be thief, will not go through, and, in theory should alert the bank of a potential fraudulent transaction.
Slow to be implemented in the United States is the chip with a personal identification number requirement. It has been in use in other countries, but has not gained popularity here just yet. We are used to using a PIN in our debit card transactions but not so much in our credit card transactions. This form of “two factor” security can only help in the stop of credit card fraud.
Banks and lending institutions need to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. And the EMV technology chip is their effort to do that, and for now this is a sure fire way to stop the thieves dead in their tracks, but the technology is only as good as the end users and their point of sale terminals. For now, it is easy to use, PIN free in use, and safe. It is ahead of the bad guys and will help prevent credit card fraud. But is is not universal and used by all banks and all end users.
Starbucks cashier admits her theft: