On the heels of consumer credit card information compromised at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels stores, it’s time for a change.
That change is coming in the form of EMV smart chip cards. EMV stands for Europay, Master Card and Visa. These are the credit cards that have been used in Europe, actually most of the world, for well over a decade; everywhere except the United States. They contain a micro-processor that makes counterfeiting much more difficult.
“I do believe it’s a matter of time before they convert,” says Bill Morgan, a technology security specialist and CEO of Avistas, speaking about U.S. credit card companies. “They will definitely convert. Sometimes you need something to nudge the process, so now Visa has announced that on October 1, 2015 they’re reversing the liability on fraudulent credit card transactions.”
Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the Smart Card Alliance says the cost of switching around credit cards in the world’s largest economy will be borne by the financial institutions that issue payment cards and retailers who accept them as payment.
“But the cost of fraud today in the market is so high that if we can eliminate fraud out of the system it’s going to reduce costs both for the issuers and the retailers,” says Vanderhoof.
So within the next three years expect to receive newly issued credit cards containing micro-chips. Is that going to protect your cards from hackers’ prying eyes? Morgan says not really, likening the EMV process to rotating the air in your tires.
“Nothing is going to be truly safe and secure at the end of the day,” Morgan tells KTRH News. “It may just require people to change their tactics and techniques.”
On the up side, Morgan says, EMV cards will move us further along to where we need to go, which is the digital wallet. The chips can be imbedded into smart phones and mobile devices so you can do more transactions with less contact to be compromised.