Even though the technology has been in use for some time throughout many parts of the world, major American credit card companies appear to be moving toward adopting chip and pin-style credit cards beginning this year. Considering that the technology was developed by American credit card companies years ago, many consumer analysts have wondered exactly why it has taken so long to finally implement the technology in the United States. For whatever reason, many are praising the move for the effects it will have on security-related issues that plague traditional, magnetic strip cards. If you are wondering what to expect, continue reading below to find out how this may impact you.
The Basics of Chip & Pin
On the surface, it is fairly difficult to tell the difference between a magnetic strip credit card and a chip and pin credit card. The notable exception to this is the usual – but not universal – lack of a magnetic strip alongside the back of the card; rather than utilizing magnetic strips, a chip is embedded within the card that functions in the same capacity. Making purchases with chip and pin cards is quite similar and credit card holders should expect no major changes in this regard: you swipe your card, enter a PIN and the transaction is completed.
The Reasoning Behind the Switch
The number one reason for the shift is the added security that comes with chip and pin cards. Duplicating or cloning this type of card has proven to be very difficult for thieves, as opposed to magnetic strip cards that can be cloned in no time at all with a few simple and inexpensive pieces of equipment. Even if financial information is hijacked from one of these cards, it becomes very difficult for a potential credit card thief to re-create a functional card.
Since most of the world has moved beyond magnetic strip cards, Americans sometimes find it difficult to use their cards when abroad – particularly when using automated kiosks or vending machines. Even with brick and mortar entities, convincing a merchant to process the card may prove to be a hassle. The adoption of this technology will ease the burden of American travelers and hopefully eliminate the vast majority of these woes over the next few years.