Identity thieves are getting pretty good at getting ahold of personal information. Unfortunately, this means that many of the technologies that US consumers have depended on to keep that information safe is failing.
Over a decade ago, the EMV chip was created and it has been used in European countries for years. This innovative technology will soon make it to America, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to learn more about this cool new security feature before it starts showing up on the cards you get in the mail.
What is an EMV card?
EMV stands for ‘Europay, MasterCard, and Visa,’ because the technology was created by these financial institutions.
The technology itself is embedded in a small chip on the credit card. The EMV technology is an addition to credit cards, not an innovative new credit card itself. That means, your current accounts will remain the same. You’ll just notice, at some point, that your current card will be replaced with a new card that contains this unique, foiled chip.
Why is EMV safer than current security measures?
Current credit cards are swiped through a terminal in order to access account information. Each card contains its own data series that is unique to the card. The trouble is, that data series never changes throughout the lifetime of the card, making it easier for a thief to get ahold of your information. Once a thief has that single unique number, he can continue using your card over and over again.
The EMV chip works differently. Instead of containing a single data series, a new data series is created every single time you make a purchase. Even if a thief gets ahold of one numerical series, he will be unable to use your card repeatedly because the series always changes.
If you’re worried about the possibility of being involved in a serious data breach, like this one, using EMV cards will ensure this never happens to you.
How do you use it?
Even the best innovations in technology are useless if they’re not easy to use. Imagine stepping up to the counter and needing to be taught some complex way to provide the cashier with your information! This definitely isn’t the case with the new EMV technology.
Instead of swiping the card, you’ll simply insert it into a special port. It’s a lot like those ATMs that require you to insert your card. The technology can also be read by sensors, so you may simply be able to use a touch-free card reader at some locations.
Are there other names for EMV?
You may have already heard of EMV technology, you just don’t recognize it by its official name. EMV is also known as:
- Chip-and-pin cards
- Chip cards
- Smart cards
- Chip-enabled smart cards
- Chip-and-choice PIN cards
Interested in learning more? Checkout this chart that outlines milestones in the process for some of the leading financial intuitions in the US. Then, keep your eye on your mailbox for your very own EMV card!