Many were beginning to wonder when MasterCard would incorporate chip-enabled technology into its credit cards. The answer came this week. It’s now on tract to make the transition to safer technology, much the way its bigger competitor, Visa, has long since started.
MasterCard has been around for nearly as long as there have been credit cards. Consumers trust the brand and it’s a globally recognized logo that symbolizes the financial sector s a whole. Recently, though, many began questioning – and certainly after Visa made its announcement – when the credit card giant would incorporate the much-safer chip enabled technology into its credit card products. In fact, many were wondering if it ever would.
MasterCard said its commitment to keep current in safe technology for its consumers was its driving force in fast tracking the new credit card model.
This will make online and mobile shopping a much safer experience for our MasterCard consumers
said Chris McWilton, MasterCard U.S. President. It also will help cut down on losses due to fraudulent activity. Since most credit card companies have zero fraud liability protection, it makes sense to incorporate any fraud resistant technology.
He also said the credit card industry as a whole is
moving toward a world beyond plastic… one where consumers shop and pay in ways best compatible with their lifestyles. This includes tapping, touching and clicking versus swiping (credit cards).
Part of MasterCard’s strategy is to first ensure the framework is in place and then helping merchants make the transition. Merchants around the nation have voiced concerns over the expense associated with this new technology and the costs associated with not only the upgrade, but training too. ATMs and point of sale terminals much all make the transition.
It’s been met with much resistance in the U.S. due to its complexity of incorporation. Indeed, one need only consider the 7 million credit cards in the U.S. that are used on a daily basis. These credit cards must all be replaced, and of course, there are the merchant considerations as well.
What is EMV?
In its simplest definition, EMV chip technology refers to a microchip embedded in a credit or debit card or a mobile device.
By far, the biggest benefit of this new technology is the safety. It will drastically affect fraudulent efforts, counterfeiting and perhaps even identity theft. The magnetic strip has been a weakness in credit cards for years.
Visa a Step Ahead
In early February, Visa released a presser stating that there are now one million Visas in the U.S. that have these new EMV chip enabled credit cards. It also says the majority are business cards; however, it’s still a testament to how quickly Visa is hoping to make the transition.
Also, new statistics reveal on a global level, there are more than 1.3 billion EMV credit cards as well as close to 21 million terminals with the technology to process these new credit cards.
MasterCard customers are now wondering what, if anything, they need to do for the transition. Credit card companies will begin issuing new credit cards with the technology over the course of time. The same holds true for merchants who are seeking to make the transition; however, they will likely be approached before any massive exchange efforts take place. Indeed, it’s not an overnight effort; it will, in all likelihood, take a few years.
Consumers who have questions about their credit cards should contact their networks. Also, many credit card companies have information on their respective websites that should help answer any questions. The websites might also be a way to stay current on the changes. Finally, there are the company Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. These too will be a source of information as the switch over continues.
Despite the resistance from some, there’s no denying the benefits of the technology – especially in the United States. With fraud and theft on the rise, credit card companies are seeking ways to plug that vulnerability. Various zero fraud liability credit card offers means the card companies are shouldering the costs of fraud. Consumers will benefit knowing their transactions and financial aspects are safer.
Are you ready for the transition?
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