Since the recent theft of millions of Target’s customers over the holiday season, the topic of America’s slow progress in adopting high-tech credit cards has regularly been discussed by the public. Unlike Europe and other places around the world, America has not yet deployed safer, secure, and modern credit cards.
The USA is a staggering 10 years behind Europe in developing the use of credit cards with a computer chip and advanced security software. Although many major banks and retailers have begun to supply the cards under pressure from credit card companies, we’re still a long way off. Because the United States is such a large country, these high-tech credit cards could take years to reach critical mass. Plus, with conflict over who will be responsible for the huge $8 billion bill, the situation is still very much up in the air.
Despite this, it surely has to be recognized that credit card fraud has doubled since chip cards began to use in Europe. Due to America’s lack of speed in adapting to modern credit card use, the financial safety of its citizens is a threat, with scammers choosing America as a target because it is simply easier than everywhere else. Unlike cards with chips, hackers are quickly able to obtain data from magnetic strips. With this data, they can produce counterfeit cards, make false purchases and come up with a variety of other identify-theft techniques.
Even though the shocking home truths of America’s dated and potentially unsafe credit cards are coming to light, payment risks expert Douglas King still said that fraud in the United States is so low that the business benefit of chip cards “had yet to fully crystalize”. Not only this, but Carolyn Balfany of MasterCard Worldwide says that “the U.S. is the largest and most complex market to move” when it comes to adapting to modern-day credit cards.
Overall, it’s certainly obvious that the USA should have introduced high-tech credit cards long ago. Perhaps if we had, we would now be in the same league as Europe in terms of financial safety. Despite this, it is important to recognize that major banks and retailers are now supplying cards with chips, which is definitely a start.