As an adult, you've probably signed your name on more random slips of paper than you can fathom. And few of us probably suspected that the common practice of swiping our credit cards and signing a receipt has a lot to do with why half of all frauds take place in the United States, even though we only make up about a quarter of all credit card use in the world. After a massive and scary credit card breach took place over the holidays at big retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, big changes are in the works: as of October 2015, you'll never swipe and sign again -- and, with hope, stolen data will become a thing of the past.
A new payment system, known as EMV, will allow the U.S. to catch up to most of the rest of the world, which hasn't swiped and signed in years. Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, will be embedded with microchips containing security data. When we purchase something at a store in the near future, we'll insert our cards into a machine and enter a pin number. But the fact that our cards contain a microchip will make it more difficult and expensive for hackers to access our information.
And there's yet another reason to love this new system: in cases where store merchants have not yet switched to EMV, they will be responsible if we become victims of credit card fraud as a result of swiping and signing. The same holds true if your bank has yet to send you a new chip and PIN card -- you will not be liable if you become the victim of fraud using an old card.
I think we are long overdue for a change and am happy the Powers That Be are on board with this shift. On a personal note, my husband and I have started using cash more often than in the past because we've known so many people who have been victims of fraud and it's such a pain in the rear to sort things out with your bank once you've been targeted by hackers. The change to EMV will make me much more open to using my card again.
Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud? Will you feel more confident using a card once this shift takes place?
Image via eliazar/Flickr