According to an article in today’s (2/7/13) Wall Street Journal, America is joining the rest of the world next year by
switching to chip-and-pin transactions to reduce fraud. If businesses fail to switch and the card is used for fraudulent activity the merchant will be responsible for the money.
Here’s the article by Tom Gara:
It’s a payment ritual as familiar as handing over a $20 bill, and it’s soon to go extinct: prepare to say farewell to the swipe-and-sign of a credit card transaction.
Beginning later next year, you will stop signing those credit card receipts. Instead, you will insert your card into a slot and enter a PIN number, just like people do in much of the rest of the world. The U.S. is the last major market to still use the old-fashioned signature system, and it’s a big reason why almost half the world’s credit card fraud happens in America, despite the country being home to about a quarter of all credit card transactions.
The recent large-scale theft of credit card data from retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus brought the issue more mainstream attention, leading to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week. Executives told the senators that once the country transitions to the new system — which includes credit cards embedded with a microchip containing security data — these kind of hacking attacks will be much more difficult to pull off.
The shift is coming though: both MasterCard and Visa have roadmaps for the changeover, and both have set October, 2015 as an important deadline in the switch. But why has it taken this long, and how will the changeover work for card users and businesses?