There are a half a billion chip cards in the market right now. They have been touted to improve security and reduce credit card fraud. But do they?
According to a new report, both Visa and MasterCard have reported that the chip cards (also known as EMV) are working. Visa reports that it has seen a 47% decline in fraud, and MasterCard has seen a 54% reduction.
Nonetheless, only about a third of U.S. companies have implemented the EMV technology. This number should increase now that the credit card companies are making merchants responsible for any swiping fraud because old technology is being used.
However, online fraud continues to be a problem. It is reported that card not-present fraud (CNP) rose almost 50% last year alone. What is CNP fraud? It is when a criminal gets ahold of your credit card number and can buy things online and the good are delivered electronically. The biggest items that are being purchased in CNP fraud are airline and other travel tickets, concert tickets and digital gift cards. These items are easy to sell.
Criminals are also able to obtain individuals’ personal information on the black market and open new credit cards in people’s names without them ever knowing.
They will continue to find ways to commit fraud. What can you do to protect yourself? Use your EMV card. Frequently check your credit card and debit card balances. Check your credit report to see if any credit cards have been opened without your knowledge. But the best pro-active strategy is to place a credit freeze on your account so no one can open an account in your name without your knowledge and authorization. You can contact any of the three credit bureaus to find out how to place a credit freeze on your account, and the pros and cons of doing so.
In the meantime, the EMV “chip” cards are indeed chipping away at fraud. Use them and encourage your merchants to implement the technology so the number of businesses accepting EMV cards grows quickly to protect all of us from credit card fraud.