The next credit card you get in the mail is one that you certainly want to put in your wallet. No, it’s not a new offer from a bank or a replacement for a lost, stolen or hacked card, it is the new ‘chipped’ card that has been so long in coming to the shores of America. For so long the credit cards used in the US have had the magnetic strip on the back that contains so much information, and, tends to wear out. And, as we all know, such cards have been easy targets for hackers. Meanwhile across the pond in Europe, the credit cards have long had ‘chips’ to help protect the users from fraud. Finally that technology is coming to the US….but slowly.
As of today, only about 40% of credit card users have gotten their new cards in the mail while the deadline (October 1) for the switch to chips is fast approaching. With so many cards having to be replaced it has been a struggle to meet the demand for the new plastic but progress is being made in delivery of the cards to customers. One of the problems is that merchants aren’t ready to handle them yet. Huang (2015) reports that “…in a survey released Sept. 17 that 27% of merchants in the U.S. will be able to process chip-enabled cards by Oct. 1.” Merchants have been slow to ramp up for the new cards, but no need to worry as the old magnetic strip cards will still be usable.
Having new cards that are more resistant to fraud is a good thing, but we need to be aware that if this avenue of theft is closed down we can count on hackers moving on to other vectors in gaining access to our hard earned money. With that in mind, be even more vigilant about phony emails and certainly more cautious about what information you put on public display through social media.
So, good news and bad news…upgraded credit cards are on the way, but it is slow producing and honoring them…and…bad actors will now be on the prowl for other ways to attack you. Keep your guard up and stay patient!
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Huang, J. (2105). “60% still have old credit cards as Oct. 1 EMV card deadline looms”. Retrieved from the Internet at http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/09/30/chip-credit-card-deadline/73043464/
Picchi, A. (2105). “5 things to know about new chip-enabled credit cards” Retrieved from the Internet at