A full 60 million U.S. cards were compromised in the past 12 months. While 93 percent of those were EMV chip-enabled, merchants continued to use mag stripes.
Chip-and-PIN technology has become the de-facto standard for in-person credit- and debit-card transactions in the U.S. – but a lack of merchant compliance means that cards are still being compromised in the millions.
Chip cards, which contain an embedded microprocessor that encrypts the card data, are a more secure alternative to magnetic stripe cards, in theory. They also implement the EMV standard, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, and is a global standard for chip cards’ compatibility with point of sale (PoS) terminals. They became the default type of card when the four major U.S. credit card issuers – Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover – decided to shift payment-card fraud liability to merchants in 2015, if they do not have an EMV payment system. The only exception to this is gas stations, which have until 2020 to make the switch (owing to the expense related to swapping out gas pumps).