Whether you've traveled extensively in Europe or simply heard stories about shopping in various countries from friends, you're probably aware that they've been using much safer means for protecting consumer credit card information than America for many years. Perhaps you've wondered how they achieve this.

            While no system is perfect, many European consumers rarely ever face hacking issues. This is because they do not simply “swipe” their credit cards through a thin crevice on a machine like we do when paying a retail store. They have a much safer system that’s sometimes referred to as “EMV.”

What Is EMV And How Does It Work?

            “EMV is short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.” This approach to protecting your credit card information involves using a microchip implanted in your card – as opposed to using the highly vulnerable magnetic strip still featured on American credit cards. Not only is it harder to copy your information from a credit card featuring an EMV microchip – you’re further protected by a separate transaction code that’s created each time you use this type of card.            All of this works rather easily and greatly complicate matters for thieves who are eager to steal your personal identification and credit card data.

Why Has America Been Slow to Convert to the EMV Format?

Although each EMV card only costs about two dollars, American credit card companies have claimed this is rather expensive. While this does sound a bit absurd, it's one of the excuses still being given for issuing credit cards featuring the relatively cheap magnetic strips.            However, the main stumbling block seems to be that most major retailers will have to buy a vast number of the new devices that can properly read credit cards with implanted microchips.  These devices will be needed at every check-out stand stores currently have.

            Another reason corporate America – as well as the owners of many “Mom and Pop” single-store businesses have been resisting this change involves liability issues. Credit card companies are now indicating that they'll try to hold all stores legally liable for credit card losses – if they don't invest in the new credit card transaction devices.

What the Near Future Holds

            Most of us will receive these new types of microchip credit cards during the next couple of years – along with instructions on how to use them. Until then, we must continue to carefully use our current credit cards, checks or cash in order to protect ourselves from hackers.

            Of course, wily thieves always try to stay a step ahead when it comes to these types of matters. In fact, it's been reported that crooks have begun increasing their physical attacks on ATM machines since 2012.                                                                                                       Hopefully, we will all enjoy using our new microchip cards for many years – until some bored hacker figures out how to compromise that data.


If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so that you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.


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