The US has been behind the rest of the world for years in credit card technology, and now New York could lead the way toward catching up. A new bill in the State Senate would require all credit cards issued in the state to have EMV smart chip technology.
Smart chips are a credit card technology that adds a second layer of encryption to card transactions. The chips are little microprocessors that contain PIN protected information for verifying transactions. With a non-chip card, scammers just need the information in the magnetic strip of the card in order to run fraudulent charges.
“Even with your card in your possession, your account can be hacked and false charges made,” State Senator Martin Golden said this afternoon in Brooklyn, “Your credit card data is out there, and criminals are buying and selling it.”
With smart chips, they’d also need the customer’s PIN. Credit cards companies and legislators have been advocating for smart chip tech since the recent breach of Target’s customer data, which brought credit card security issues into the spotlight.
Though EMV smart chips don’t always protect against hackers, they’re certainly safer than the cards we’re all currently carrying around.
Smart chips are used in plenty of countries, and now there’s a race to bring the technology to the United States. Incorporating smart chips across the board has been a slow crawl, but this morning’s announcement is part of series of legislative pushes to get bankers and retailers on board.
Senator Golden is asking that the State Legislature and the Governor pass the bill by the end of 2014.