Chip In Credit Card: Are You Safer?

Date: 09/16/15

Source: KSDK News Channel 5

By: Mike Rush

Link: Click here

Parameter Security discusses whether or not you really are safer.


How the chip in your credit card will, and won’t, protect you

KSDK – You’ve probably noticed your shopping is starting to involve a lot less swiping of your credit card. By October, stores have to be ready to take cards with chips in them or they’ll be responsible for covering fraud.

It almost seems like a foregone conclusion, you shop, crooks steal.

“I have seen it happen a lot recently, I don’t know why,” shopper Mohammad Alshamsi said.

Our economic engine is constantly gunked by credit card fraud.

“I would say within the last year, I’ve probably had four new cards,” said shopper Claire Watson.

To fight it, chances are your credit and debit cards either do or soon will have a chip and pin system. The embedded chip on the face of the card with your information generates a unique verification code for each transaction, much more secure than the magnetic stripe.

Chip card readers are already in stores like Walmart and Target.

“It makes it virtually impossible for fraudsters to counterfeit cards or create counterfeit transactions,” Carolyn Balfany, a Senior Vice President for Mastercard, said.

Balfany heads up Mastercard’s U.S. chip card implementation from the company’s technology headquarters in O’Fallon, Missouri.

So how much safer does this technology makes our cards from the old cards?

“Seventy- to 80-plus percent drop in counterfeit fraud,” Balfany said. “That’s huge.”

It’s something that may have helped cook Dave Henschell a couple of years ago.

“I went to make a purchase and my card was declined several times,” the St. Charles resident recalled.

Henschell is a Schnucks shopper impacted by the grocery chain’s credit card breach in 2013.

“It was very unsettling at first to know that I wasn’t able to get to my money that was in my checking account,” he said.

Instead of swiping your card the old fashioned way, now you enter it into the system. It takes a few seconds for the machine to read your chip.

During that time, you have to leave the card in the reader.

In some cases, you may have to sign something. It’s an important line of defense, but it’s certainly not a silver bullet to saving you from becoming a victim.

“It’s going to make us safer, but it doesn’t make us completely safe,” Ethical Hacker Dave Chronister said.

Chronister says during the transition, the less protective stripe is still on the cards.

Also, the technology offers virtually no protection for online shopping, and many anti-fraud experts believe because pin codes are not required, at least yet, the chip cards are not as safe as they could be.

Still, Chronister believes they’re a step in the right direction.

“It’s not about stopping the attacks, it’s about making the attacks harder,” said Chronister.

Balfany explained, “Security is about layering technology. It’s not that there’s one solution that’s going to do everything.”

Stores need to be on board by October first, but the deadline for ATM’s is October of next year and gas stations in October, 2017.

For more information about the technology and how to use it, check out