As technology advances, opportunities for corruption and theft increase. Not only is credit card information compromised on-line, card details are blatantly stolen in front of the consumer’s eyes within restaurants, fast food outlets, and in local stores. One of the latest crime waves in recent years involves the ‘skimming’ of data through the use of capturing devices that record sensitive information on magnetic strips. These devices, called ‘botnets’, effect point-of-sale (PoS) computerized terminals currently used within service venues and shops. Millions of transactions have been compromised by debit and credit data interception and exploitation. While PoS card hacking is not new, it has infiltrated major systems and negatively impacted countless credit card holders.
Many systems are infected by new forms of malware that further serves to undermine credit card security.
The Latest in Technology:
One of the latest innovations involves ‘wave-and-pay’ technology. With a simple wave of a smartphone or an American Express India credit card, for example, a compliant PoS terminal will register the transaction. Smaller purchases (up to approximately 2000 rupees) may not even require a signature or PIN entry. Millions of ‘wave-and-pay’ transactions are occurring throughout Europe and the East, and thousands of ‘wave and pay’ terminals are already in use in the United Kingdom.
Credit Card ‘Smart Chips’:
Most developed countries are currently utilizing ‘EMV’ technology. Updated credit cards contain microchips embedded within the plastic. The ‘smart chips’ take the place of the original magnetic strips that were designed to facilitate payments. The EMV chip cards are far more secure than their traditional counterpart. The United States is beginning to step up after previously lagging behind many European countries already making use of updated technology. India, however, still needs to catch up when it comes to these added security measures.
While it appears that the modernized EMV PoS processing terminals may be subject to hacking, the potential for theft of PINs and sensitive card data information is greatly reduced. After experiencing early setbacks, there’s no denying that the EMV provides security features not available in traditional magnetic strip cards. Not only are these ‘wave and pay’ cards proving effective with advanced security features, they provide a time-saving convenience at point-of-sale terminals. This level of efficiency easily surpasses checks, cash, debit and traditional credit card payments.
‘Smart Chips’ and Credit Card Technology:
The United States is beginning to catch up after lagging behind in the ‘smart chip’ arena, although swipe and sign cards are still prevalent. On the other hand, many European venues are no longer accepting traditional cards, choosing instead to process embedded chip-card transactions with increased security benefits. It is essential for consumers to be aware of shifts in consumer security when travelling abroad and when completing transactions using ‘botnet’ PoS devices. It is also important to note that while money exchanges within airports provide ‘smart chip’ cards to overseas travellers, these are little more than charge-cards pre-loaded with foreign currencies at a considerable cost for the user.
The latest in safe credit-card technologies emphasize the importance of remaining aware of credit card development, security features, and the increased need for credit card accountability.