Safer Credit Cards Coming to the US

A recent article on Forbes, reporting on data provided by Aite Group (an economic research firm), makes the claim that by the year 2015 the majority of credit cards in America, an estimated 70%, will have security chips. Already popular in Europe, the inclusion of a security chip is said to make credit cards safer for use by the consumer. This is due to the simple fact that the chips add another level of security against potential credit card theft. However, the article points out that the added cost of these cards has until this point kept many American consumers away from this technology. That is, until now. According to the article:

While Europe, Canada and Mexico have had chipped cards for years — usually with a chip and a PIN (personal identification number), the U.S. card issuers have studiously avoided the more secure, but more expensive, cards. To some extent American issuers didn’t need the card-based security. Unlike Europe, the American card industry had grown up with cheap telecommunications, so merchants could check cards in real-time as they accepted a card in payment. American technology vendors also developed very sophisticated, if sometimes alarmist, tools to detect fraudulent card use. Really, should a New Jersey resident’s $30 gas purchase in Massachusetts trigger an alert just because she rarely ventured so far from home?

Anyway, as other countries went to chip and PIN cards and the U.S. continued to rely on a less secure magnetic stripe, the predictable occurred. Just as having two loud German shepherds makes it likely thieves will move to the house next door, America’s continued reliance on mag stripes has made it an attractive target for card fraud.

As is pointed out above, the traditional system of magnetic strip cards has become increasingly less secure. Thus, it is in the best interest of the American consumer to embrace these new cards. While it is true that they are slightly more expensive, the security benefits they provide are extremely beneficial. Not only do they keep your credit card information safer, but they also provide more peace of mind when it comes to making transactions with a credit card.

Read More- “More Secure Credit Cards With Chips Coming To The U.S.” (Tom Groenfeldt, Forbes)

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A rising senior at Colgate University, John is currently working as a research fellow with Consumers' Research.


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