Credit cards continue to be popular targets for hackers and thieves. However, companies are responding with new technology to keep your cards safe.
Take advantage of these innovations and take your power back from the criminals:
1. EMV chip technology. Named after the companies that helped develop the chips (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), this technology is already the standard in Europe, and it’s spreading to other parts of the world. Eventually, all credit cards may have chip technology.
• The chip inside the credit card is more secure than magnetic strips. It relies on tokenization, which means the card information changes each time you use it. Plus, your credit card number is hidden. This prevents thieves from being able to steal your card data.
• The chip technology works best for live transactions at stores and other locations. It’s not as effective for credit card use over the phone or online. However, companies are working on ways to improve all transaction security.
2. Smart card technology. Smart cards are capable of putting all of your credit cards, debit cards, and other information into one card.
• Smart cards have miniature computers inside of them that let users choose the card they want to use at any moment. However, there are limits on how many cards you can store on a smart card.
• Smart card technology is still developing and evolving.
• The smart cards have a variety of safety features, and tokenization technology is one of them.
• In addition, smart cards get locked after each transaction. This means you have to reenter a password right into the card to make it work again. This is a useful way of protecting your information if you lose the smart card.
3. Mobile payment technology. Mobile payments provide several safety features for users who rely on their credit cards.
• Mobile payment services often use tokenization technology.
• In addition, cell phones provide a layer of protection of their own. If your phone is lost or stolen, a thief would need to know your password to get in. Hacking a phone doesn’t always work, and you can purchase apps that lock your phone from a distance.
4. Two-step verification technology. Retailers and other businesses are using two-step verification to add more security to transactions.
• Two-step verification refers to the need to take multiple steps before you can pay with your credit card or use a service. First, you have to remember your password. Second, you have to enter a special, one-time code that is sent to your mobile device.
• The one-time codes change every time you need to log in. Unless thieves have hacked your phone, they can’t request a new code.
Technology will continue to change as credit card companies work to fight hackers and thieves. It’s important to pay attention to any notices you receive from a credit card company because it may be announcing new technology.
You may need to take additional steps to take advantage of the new technology.
For example, the growth of EMV cards means your old credit cards will have to be replaced. You’ll soon receive new chip cards from your credit card companies, if you haven’t already.
Credit card companies continue to find new technology to battle data breaches. Taking advantage of these new advances will help you keep your credit cards out of the reach of criminals.