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Most Credit and Debit Cards Will Have Microchips By End of 2015

Rochester, N.Y. (WROC)- In 2014, big name retailers such as Target and Home Depot, took big financial hits thanks to identity theft.  Hackers stole consumer credit and debit card information right under their watch.

“The risk over the years has really escalated,” says Jeffrey Bocach, President & CEO of Advantage Federal Credit Union.

Now by October 2015, banks, card issuers and retailers will be expected to upgrade all credit and debit cards with EMV microchips.  EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, Visa– a system other countries have long implemented to protect consumers.  Their microchips function similarly to SIM cards that are in cell phones, encrypting information.

“It’s encrypted and it changes for every transaction,” says RIT Professor Rick Mislan, a computing security expert.

Mislan says the chips are an improvement over traditional magnetic stripes.

“They’re not encrypted or secured in any way so when the card is swiped they go across the communication channel identifiably as numbers,” says Mislan.

But the transition to EMV isn’t cheap.

“There’s a good deal of expense, every single plastic card has to be reissued,” says Bocach. “Both debit cards and credit cards.”

Bocach says his bank has already started the transition and expects to meet the year end deadline:

“We have various plans to reach out to people.  If you’ve already had a compromised card, you’re gonna understand it right away.  It’s why we’re doing this.”

If not, Advantage Federal Credit Union will follow suit as many other banks have, including Bank of America and Chase, adding explanations on their website for the types of plastic hitting your wallet.

“Will it entirely eliminate fraud? Probably not,” says Bocach. “Will it reduce it dramatically? Yes.”

Those are odds that banks and consumers can hope– fall in their favor.



-Via Rochester First 


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