The US is behind in the implementation and acceptance of the EMV or RFID chip enhanced credit and debit cards. This newer technology will eventually replace the magnetic stripe technology now widely accepted in the US. The technology is meant to fight increasing counterfeit card fraud.
EMV or Euro / Mastercard /Visa issued cards have RFID technology. Radio frequency identification is an embedded chip that more safely encrypts and transfers data uniquely for each purchase. This is worldwide standard with the US only beginning its implementation planning in August of 2011. All four major US card brands began rolling out their adoption schedules for cards to begin distribution in the spring of 2013. It is expected to take some time and is not without foreseeable challenges but definitely the wave of the very near future.
Proponents of the new ‘smart cards’ are excited by the security EMV cards offer versus the traditional swipe magnetic strip cards. Because the transaction information is encoded uniquely every time, it’s harder for criminals to pick up useful payment data pieces and use them again for another purchase.
Magnetic stripe payment information never changes. All thieves had to do is lift that information and create a phony card and begin using it. So EMV is superior technology when you complete a transaction where the card is present, as it nearly eliminates; skimming scams or the reuse of your card number.
Despite reducing card-present fraud, however, EMV does nothing to prevent card-not-present (CNP) fraud, such as in online transactions, than the traditional swipe strip card. Mass US implementation will be delayed until card-not-present fraud can be safeguarded. Limited distribution has begun for worldwide travelers.
So how can you safeguard your newly issued EMV card? We found some great ideas at CBS Money Watch.
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