How high-tech cards can stop fraud

Do you feel secure when using your credit cards at retailers? Do you feel less safe after retailer Target revealed that hackers stole the data on 40 million consumers who used their credit cards at Target stores across the country? There is some good news: CBS Minnesota recently reported that new technology could make such credit-card data breaches more uncommon.

Smart cards on the way

As CBS Minnesota reports, smart cards could be an immense help. These cards store all of a consumer’s accounts on one piece of plastic. That sounds risky. But these cards make use of microchips and PINs to keep consumer data safe. The cards are already popular throughout much of Europe, and hackers are hardly ever successful in cracking them.

The power of masking

Consumers in the United States can already reap the benefits of masking technology. CBS Minnesota reports that masked cards generate temporary numbers whenever consumers use them to buy something online or at brick-and-mortar stores. This number disappears once the transaction is finished, making it pointless for hackers who manage to steal it.

More options

Of course, smart cards might be ideal. It may take a few more years, though, for these to arrive in the country. No one knows why smart cards aren’t here already. But CBS Minnesota’s story speculates that one of the factors may be that credit-card companies haven’t upgraded to the modern technology that they’d need.

Posted on: 02.26.14