New Payment Cards Are Ahead

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

SF’s District Attorney Launches a Program to Make Sure Everyone’s Ready

San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón wants to make sure that consumers and businesses understand smart card (sometimes called EMV or chip) payment technology.

Consumers are vulnerable to fraud because crooks have learned how to outwit traditional credit and debit card security systems, and steal payment card information. Once this information is stolen, crooks make fake cards using the real account number, running up bills and creating headaches for consumers, merchants and banks. Smart cards help stop that.

 

Conrad Delroserio  of the San Francisco District Attorney's office shows how crooks make fake payment cards at the kick off to the DA's campaign to educate consumers about new payment card technology.

Conrad Delroserio of the San Francisco District Attorney’s office shows how crooks make fake payment cards at the kick off to the DA’s campaign to educate consumers about new payment card technology.

 

 
Instead of a traditional magnetic stripe, smart cards have an embedded microchip that generates a new use code for each transaction.  That means that even if payment card data is stolen, crooks can’t make fake cards because those cards would not have the chip that is required to complete a transaction at a retail store.

While EMV/smart card/chip technology is a boon for consumers and merchants, there are necessary changes that folks will have to make. The DA’s campaign is about educating consumers and businesses to these changes:

 

  • For consumers, there are no more swipes! Chip cards are read by being “dipped” into chip enabled readers.

 

  • Businesses will need to upgrade their point of sale terminals to read smart cards, and train their staffs to work with consumers to complete smart card transactions.

 

We’re excited about the move to microchip-embedded payment cards, and are urging consumers to request smart cards from their banks today, and to encourage the local merchants they frequent to upgrade their card readers.

 

Do you have a payment card with a chip? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

 

 

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