As technology continues to dramatically increase the number of ways consumers can conveniently make purchases, criminals are looking for new ways to steal or compromise credit card data. One common method for this is called credit card “skimming.” Many people have unfortunately been victims of credit card skimming. An unassuming retail clerk scans your credit card for purchases and then secretly skims the ID so they can use it later. Some cashiers even attempt to swipe card information and use it for their own purchases. Fortunately, a company called SmartMetric is fighting back. They’ve created a way to link your credit card to your fingerprint, in an attempt reduce the number of skimmed cards. The CEO of SmartMetric explains that “the owner’s fingerprint is the only ID that can successfully complete a retail transaction, ATM transaction, or make a purchase on a POS card reader. Just press your finger on your card to make your card work. No one else can activate it.” Many top credit card companies are in contact with SmartMetric about adding this innovative, new design into their card production process.
Additionally, many banks are implementing new “chip” technology often referred to as “EMV cards.” EMV stands for Europay and MasterCard and Visa: companies who were the original developers of the idea. These cards include a microchip that stores and protects cardholder data, which makes it extremely difficult to copy or counterfeit the cards. EMV cards work by creating a unique transaction code for every purchase that cannot be replicated, while traditional magnetic stripe cards use the same code for each payment. Chip cards can be inserted into the card terminals instead of swiping cards, which is another safety feature that helps stop information from being skimmed. Many large companies, such as Walmart, have made the upgrades to be able to accept the newer chip cards. But don’t worry if you go to a store and they haven’t updated to a chip card reader, EMV cards will still contain a magnetic stripe-which can be used on regular reader machines. The only inconvenience related to these new chips is that the EMV transactions typically take a few seconds longer than magnetic stripe pay or NFC transactions (like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay). However, a few seconds is a small price to pay for for better security.
Some of the local Sulphur Springs banks that have implemented the EMV cards include; Guaranty Bank, and Texas Heritage National Bank. These bank customers may receive a new card issued to them with the EMV chip. Customers have no need to worry as all pin numbers and account information should remain the same, while card numbers may change. The best part of this added security is that the banks are adding the chip cards for free-so no added costs to the individuals! For more information, be sure to check with your banker on how you can equip your card with the newest technologies and best securities.