The U.S. is poised to upgrade its debit and credit card (payment card) security systems in an effort to fight skyrocketing fraud costs. And while federal regulations already protect you, as a consumer, from liability for most fraudulent transactions a crook could make using your account, when payment industry participants are hit by fraud, everyone’s costs increase.
That’s why the U.S. industry plans to implement EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) cards, which contain computer chips that authorize or validate payment-card transactions. We’re the last developed country in the world to do so. Here’s how the change will affect you:
- You’ll receive an EMV card with information about how it’s different, its enhanced security, and how to use it. This may happen when your current card expires or you might get a special reissue from SIU Credit Union or other financial institution. Card issuers have discretion about whether they’ll require you to use a signature when making payments or to use a PIN (personal identification number).
- The transaction process will be slightly different. You’ll insert your EMV card in a POS (point-of-sale) terminal, wait for it to be authorized, and remove it. You’ll either sign a sales draft or key in your PIN to complete the transaction.
- Other countries likely will stop accepting mag stripe cards after a certain date. You’ll need an EMV card when traveling abroad and international travelers in the U.S. will have the additional protection against counterfeit that EMV cards afford.
- It’s possible that some merchants and card issuers may choose not to convert and will continue to use mag stripe technology for a time. Your card still will work at the point of sale and consumers will continue to be protected from fraud liability.