Although it has been in place in Europe for several years, the credit card technology known as EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) is starting to be implemented in the United States.
EMV credit cards look very similar to traditional credit cards and even have the mag strip on the back, but also have an embedded “smart chip” on the front. EMV cards are inserted into a special port on a EMV terminal rather than antiquated swiping technology.
Magnetic strip credit cards have a long history dating back to the 1970’s. However, the static nature of how they store and process the card data, keeping information intact throughout the process, makes them susceptible for credit card fraud and identity theft.
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EMV chip technology uniquely encrypts credit card data on each individual transaction. If a security breach were to happen, the information stolen would be useless, as it is impossible to decipher.
All parties involved in customer-facing credit card transactions are required to be EMV compliant by October 2015. In the event of a security breach, any party that is not is compliance may be held liable. This includes merchants.