Even With New Chip Technology, Credit Card Fraud Still A Problem

The new EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) computer chips found in more and more credit cards were supposed to make credit card fraud much harder to pull off. While the chip’s introduction in the U.S. (it’s been available in Europe for years) and its stronger security capabilities have helped make payment transactions safer, fraud is still occurring. Here are some of the reasons why.

  • Not enough merchants have purchased the equipment necessary to read the chip data–only about half of U.S. stores. This means fraudsters can still use stolen cards with their easily-hackable black magnetic strips at half of the country’s retail outlets.
  • Gas stations have until 2020 to install EMV chip reading equipment so very few have the technology. It’s why credit card skimming scams (where thieves read data off your credit or debit card when you make a gas purchase) are still a big problem.
  • Chips offer no protection for online sales. If thieves steal a credit card, there’s no stopping them from using the card to make online purchases—until the rightful card owner cancels the card.

Note to Merchants: Fraud liability has changed with the introduction of the chip card. If you’re a merchant who has not yet installed chip card readers, you will be liable for any fraudulent transaction costs. Previously, the bank issuing the card would be responsible. This is a good incentive to make the change over sooner rather than later (the cost is about $200 per terminal).