Traditional swipe & sign credit cards are quickly being phased out in the United States. In their place are Chip & PIN credit cards — a new payment technology that offers greater security and fraud protection.
This transition isn’t only happening in the United States. Chip & PIN credit cards have already become the standard in most parts of the world, with the U.S. being the last major market to reach full compliance.
EMV credit cards are the wave of the future. But that future could be very expensive.
Short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, EMVs are a relatively new type of credit card equipped with embedded security chips designed to prevent fraudulent activity. It's no longer enough to copy down a user's 16-digit card number. The plastic (and chip) must be physically present at point-of-sale registers in order to make a purchase:
Writing paper checks at the cashier counter used to be the standard payment method for in-store purchases (second only to cash). Using these checks can be a bit inconvenient for those standing behind you in line, but we've all done it (or know folks who have).
The days of paper-based checks are numbered. The United Kingdom has already begun phasing out paper checks completely. And even in the United States, the federal government will no longer issue Social Security payments via the postal system.
In place of paper-based checks are electronic payment options that offer:
EMVs are chip-enabled credit cards that offer greater security (i.e. fraud prevention) than their more traditional swipe-and-sign counterparts do. Already the standard in most parts of the world, these EMV credit cards have only recently emerged in the U.S.