When you watch American credit card commercials, "universal coverage" is a common theme. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have your back under any and all circumstances. Visa even has a catchy tagline — "Everywhere you want to be."
It's clever marketing. But the reality is very different. The majority of tourist destinations around the world no longer accept traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards (i.e. the ones with magnetic strips on the back).
At first glance, Amazon’s entrance into the U.S. telecom market doesn't make sense. There are already more cellphones than people. And 65 percent of Americans currently have a smartphone in their pocket.
Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) credit cards are a 20-year-old technology that has become the standard payment option in most retail markets around the world. Because each card comes equipped with a “non-clonable” chip, EMVs are more secure than their traditional magnetic swipe & sign counterparts.
Despite these advanced security features, EMV chip-enabled cards are almost nonexistent in the United States.
EMV credit cards have become the global standard in nearly every major market except the United States. But even this will change as 2015 liability regulations place greater pressure on merchants that have yet to embrace EMVs. If and when fraudulent activity occurs, non-EMV businesses will have to cover losses out-of-pocket.
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:
Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip-enabled credit cards are becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S. And it's not difficult to see why. They come equipped with fraud-prevention features, making them very difficult to clone.
In fact, it is because of these security features that EMV cards have already replaced traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards in most parts of the world.
In the U.S., you'll usually see EMVs marketed as either chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature credit cards. But how are they different (and which one is more secure)?
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) credit cards have taken the retail world by storm. That is — everywhere but in the United States — a market with more than 1 billion credit and debit cards, most of which aren't equipped with EMV technology.
EMV credit cards have already become standard worldwide, with the United States being the last major market that still relies on traditional swipe-and-sign plastic.
One reason behind this slower adoption rate is the investment that merchants must make to begin accepting EMV credit card payments. You need a special terminal that can read and process chip-enabled cards. But experts predict that by 2018, EMV readers will become "ubiquitous" at point-of-sale locations across the country.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) is a government-regulated electronic network through which financial institutions can transmit funds back and forth. The process is similar to credit cards, except that senders and receivers use bank routing codes instead of traditional 16-digit credit card numbers.
Enabling ACH payments offers important advantages to businesses and customers alike: