Now that we better understand the process it’s going to take to get nationwide acceptance and practice of EMV compatible terminals, let’s take a look at why chip cards is the new secure way to pay.
Traditional mag stripe cards are quite easy for fraudsters to hack - as long as the card is working, all they need to do is replace the signature, or even simpler, just forge it. In this scenario, the credit card can continue to be used for fraud until it is cancelled - way after tons of purchases have already been made.
The idea with having a chip card is that the data being passed through during a transaction is ever changing - unlike mag stripe cards where it’s the same at every swipe. That is also why it’s easy to replicate mag stripe cards - because the number doesn’t change, the fraudster could create virtually an unlimited number of credit cards based on this information. With an EMV chip card, on the other hand, each time a transaction takes place, a unique transaction number is being used - for the first and only time. Additionally, this makes sure personal information isn’t being transmitted over during a transaction either, since a random transaction number is automatically generated.
The point here is for fraudsters to look for other ways to hack into someone’s credit card account. The issue with security and credit card fraud is - just like any form of technology - we are constantly on our toes, competing with the fraudsters to prevent the next hack or crime they’re going to try. Sometimes we see it before they do, sometimes they get there first and we have to come up with a reactive approach. Either way, where we stand now involves finding ways to fight the hottest, newest way to scam people and put up barriers so that fraudsters want to look elsewhere. One thing we can say for certain is that criminals typically prefer easy targets over difficult ones, so as our credit card fraud has only increased as other countries introduced EMV way before us, we can hope they will want to flock somewhere else again once EMV becomes more widespread within the United States.