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Are chip and pin credit cards going to be introduced to the us

Are Chip and Pin Credit Cards Going to Be Introduced to the US?

The British are known for their Fish & Chips, but Chip & Pin has the major anti-fraud development involving credit and debit cards there in the last 5 years. Chip and Pin refers to the introduction of a microchip which is included on the credit card in one of the corners. This chip includes identification information which is read by a card reader and when the card is confirmed, the owner must also input a PIN number in the same way as when they use the ATM.

The chip identifies the card, and marks it as a real credit or debit card and which is not in fact a fake. The PIN number provides an additional layer of security because it is a number which is only known to the owner of the card, so in the case of theft, the card is useless because the thief may steal the card (with the chip) but not have the PIN number which is also required to use the card.

Credit and debit card fraud has reportedly dropped in the UK with millions of dollars in savings to the credit card and banking industry and huge savings for retailers who had to cover the cost of much of the retail credit card fraud which was being committed. All of these costs ultimately end up being passed on to the consumer, so by reducing credit card fraud, everyone benefits.

So successful has the initiative been in the UK, where every credit and debit card issued uses the Chip & Pin method and most retailers will not know accept a credit card which does not use it. American tourists to the UK have encountered some difficulties in using home issued credit and debit cards because the US does not have the system here.

But, if the system has worked so well in the UK, why has it not been introduced here in the US?

This is a question which credit card anti-fraud and consumer organisations are asking, but there are a number of objections being cited by the credit card industry.

Objections to the introduction of Chip & Pin in the US include the cost of introducing the card readers, arguments over who will be responsible for fraud losses and concerns that the Chip & Pin system is itself not infallible when it comes to criminal elements replicating the technology.

Cloning chipped cards has become one of the most effective criminal attacks on the Chip & Pin system. By reading the chip on someone’s credit card, hackers have been able to then transfer the information to a duplicate, or cloned, chip which is then placed on a duplicate credit card. As the Chip & Pin method does not require verification of the customer’s signature (though this is an option), retailers have been defrauded by cloned credit cards being used with the proper card identification being given by the chip, and by use of a pin number set up by the fraudsters. No further checks are then conducted by the retailer due to a more relaxed approach to identifying the customer.

This has led to some litigation in the UK when fraud has occurred. It was mistakenly thought that the Chip & Pin cards could not be used in a fraudulent manner, so when irate customers went to their issuing banks with complaints the cards had been used but, not by them, they were dismissed. Only after a series of court cases which dealt with the issue of cloning, did it become publicly known that the Chip & Pin method was not infallible. Indeed, the argument is that with the advances of technology for duplicating Chip & Pin cards which is easily sourced by fraudsters, the method does not provide any additional effective protection for cardholders, retailers and the credit card industry.

To answer the question, when will Chip & Pin cards be introduced, the answer is not soon and when it does happen, the methodology will probably be substantially different from that which is currently employed.

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