The latest credit card technology is an embedded computer chip. europe and other countries are already using the new chip cards. The main difference between the old cards and the new cards is that the data is static on a magnetic stripe, but changes with every transaction on an embedded chip card. (this is called dynamic authentication). Chip cards are more secure than the magnetic stripe cards. If a hacker steals the data from a magnetic stripe card, he has all the information necessary to use that card until the theft is discovered. Chip cards, on the other hand, create a unique transaction code every time the card is used, so stolen transaction data is useless. That’s not to say they are completely safe from fraud. But a security breach is far less likely to occur on a chip-enabled card.Chip cards employ EMV technology which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the original developers of the smart chip technology. Many U.S. credit cards already contain an embedded EMV chip. However most of these cards require signature validation, not PIN validation. In part, that’s because to make the full transition to chip-and-PIN cards, merchant card readers all need to be replaced with terminals that can handle the new technology.The goal of EMV technology is to thwart fraud and reduce resulting losses for everyone. To encourage full compliance with the new technology, Visa and MasterCard will shift liability for preventable fraud losses to merchants who don’t install the new machines. When traveling outside the U.S. you should request a chip-and-PIN (not chip-and-signature) card from your bank. In some parts of Europe, the transition to chip-and-PIN readers is nearly complete.
Eventually all U.S. credit cards will be chip-enabled. Current cards will be replaced by chip cards as they expire. The transition, which will take several years. Consumers in the U.S. should be able to pay using either a chip-enabled or a magnetic stripe card. In other parts of the world, however, shoppers may have trouble using a magnetic stripe card, particularly at unmanned kiosks or gas pumps.