Credit cards and card payment terminals are going to undergo a major change in the near future, thanks to a group being formed by Visa and Mastercard aimed at increasing security in the retail and banking industries in light of the recent breaches at Target and other retailers.
This new group will include bankers and retailers, security experts, and makers of card payment terminals, and will focus on increasing security, partially through the embedding of special security chips into credit cards, and a move away from magnetic strips. These chips have been used across the world outside of the United States for many years. For now, the chips are optional, but new liability regulations will impose severe penalties for those who don’t use them next year, a move which it is believed will make them all but compulsory.
The cards themselves are not the only aspect of the new payment structure that is undergoing changes. New card payment terminals, too, are being installed at retailers across the country which will include mobile payment machines at restaurants, which will be brought to the table so that customers can swipe their own cards. Drive Thru stations at fast food restaurants will also see new card readers installed outside the window, so that customers will swipe their own card. All of this is a push to remove the handling of credit cards by anyone but the card’s owner.
It is also possible that in the future, credit cards will require the use of a PIN, similar to ATM or debit transactions.
All of these moves are an intense effort by the new group to increase the security surrounding credit card transactions and it is hoped that the new cards, new card payment terminals, and other new forthcoming security measures will help to prevent future incidents like the retail breaches that happened in 4Q of 2013.