Awhile back, we wrote about the future of credit cards and how pin and chip technology will potentially cut down on data breaches, as well as the challenges of a nationwide rollout.

October 1 has come and gone, and Visa and MasterCard have made good on their promise to equip their cards with the pin and chip technology that has been present in Europe for years.

The full transition to pin and chip technology (EMV cards) has probably been harder on retailers than consumers. Banks have already, or will inevitably, send consumers new cards with an explanation of the change, but not everyone is aware of these new requirements.

How many times in October have you been to a store and swiped your card through the magnetic card reader even if your card is equipped with EMV technology and the terminal is as well?

We’re used to swiping credit cards, not dipping them at self-pay terminals.

Less than 1/3 of retailers have already made the switch to the EMV method, and even with more inevitably on the way, utilization probably won’t be near 100% until around 2018.

What Makes EMV Cards More Secure

When you swipe a credit card through a magnetic card reader, the system stores card data in its system. Over the years, hackers have been able to break through these systems and obtain card information of previous customers. That’s how all of those big retailer data breaches, from Target to Home Depot, occurred.

EMV cards create a unique code with every transaction, making them much less vulnerable.

The Push for Pin Security with EMV

It’s always been swipe then sign with credit cards, and those two things have at the very root of most data breaches. 

 However, when a card is physically lost or stolen, an EMV card is essentially useless, in that many retailers still require signature verification rather than pin verification.

Target, a brand that is expectedly uneasy about anything related to a data breach these days are already requiring pin numbers to be provided on EMV transactions just to add another layer of security.

If on top of pin verification, a four-digit pin number is required, that essentially makes it much more difficult to use a card no matter how it was obtained.

In Europe, EMV is already the norm, as is pin verification.

Some argue that pin and chip technology just adds an unnecessary expense to small businesses who have always gone about things the same way, but we’re in favor of protecting consumers and moving the technological world forward with EMV technology.

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