Chip-enabled debit and credit cards are becoming the standard for businesses and consumers. You may have noticed over the recent months that your credit unions or banks have begun to issue new debit or credit cards with a small metallic chip known as an EMV chip. The goal of this technology is to aid in the efforts of decreasing consumer fraud by adding an additional layer of security.
According to a report published by Javelin, about 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit card information stolen in 2014. This is a growing problem that EMV chip technology seeks to eliminate.
So how does this chip work? The high-tech chip creates a unique code for every transaction which makes it almost impossible for criminals to clone or intercept your information.
Currently, the EMV chip readers are not a mandate for all retailers but in effort to protect consumers you are more than likely already beginning to see is a shift in the number of retailers that use this technology. This is not to say that credit cards using only a magnetic strip will not be accepted but it is recommended that you stay vigilant when completing your day-to-day transactions.
The caveat to EMV chip technology is that it does not currently protect against online shopping so remember to be careful when placing online orders. You can increase protection by ensuring you are making purchases through reputable websites and creating passwords that are difficult to replicate.
The overall consensus is that EMV chip technology will help to dramatically decrease consumer fraud and provide a safer shopping experience. As part of our mission to ensure members are always protected, Polam Federal Credit Union previously made the switch to EMV chip technology with all of our Visa Credit Card products. We are currently making the change to our Visa Debit Cards and these will be available in Q3 of this year.