Our members have an ongoing commitment to protecting our customers’ data. Yet in spite of all the payment card industry does, breaches and attempted breaches occur—some caused by criminals or even rogue nation states. Data breaches may involve personally identifiable information (PII), personal health information (PHI), trade secrets or intellectual property. Breaches occur via cybercrime, e.g., "hacking," cyber-espionage, web application attacks, denial-of-service attacks, malware, and viruses; physical theft wherein a computer, server, or mobile device is taken, or material records, such as receipts and customer files.
Media reports encourage consumers to "freeze" their credit reports after a breach—a solution that is a blunt instrument which prospectively locks everyone out of a credit file making getting new or refinancing existing loans more cumbersome. Fraud alerts, already available from credit bureaus may be a better alternative if your data has been breached.
Our Card Coalition members who operate America's payment systems are issuing "chip cards" — a high-tech, more secure, credit and check card that is replacing the familiar magnetic stripe cards in your wallet. The new cards are known as “EMV” cards.
The new cards are being issued to prevent a type of fraud called "skimming" where criminals copy the information on these stripes to make fake cards. To stop this from happening to you, the new cards use an embedded microchip as a data firewall.
Chip Cards are debit or credit cards that contain an embedded microchip as well as the traditional Magnetic Stripe. When you insert a chip card into a chip-enabled terminal, a unique security code is generated. This code prevents the reuse of your account information and protects against fraud. Because Chip Cards can only be read by chip-enabled terminals, these cards still have the familiar Magnetic Stripe so they can still be used at retailers who only use older payment technology.
Our members are committed to your security, and we hope this helps you understand your new cards.
Credit cards are valuable tools to manage your financial affairs. They provide convenient access to credit; allow you to travel without the risk of carrying cash, and may offer valuable reward programs. But we recognize your financial situation may change, and you may become overburdened.
If you need help in dealing with financial problems, the non-profit National Foundation for Credit Counseling provides assistance. Click on the button below to visit the site.