Criminals were just too successful at stealing personal data from the magnetic strip on the back of credit and debit cards. That's why banks have recently changed card technology.
You may have noticed over the last few years the older style cards being replaced with chip-equipped cards. But are these new cards any safer?
That's a difficult question to answer. In reality, yes chip-equipped cards are more secure than those with magnetic strips. However, it turns out they aren't eliminating credit card fraud like experts hoped they would.
One reason for that is the fact that criminals are using shimmers to steal your card's data along with your PIN. Click here to read the full details of how a shimmer works.
How banks are trying to make credit and debit cards more secure
Now, MasterCard is developing new cards that combine chip-equipped technology with fingerprint security. These biometric cards are currently being tested in pilot programs in South Africa and are expected to be available in the U.S. next year.
Here's how the technology works: Account holders will register the card with their bank and their fingerprint will be converted into an encrypted digital template that is actually stored right on the card.
Once registered, you use the card like normal in any EMV card terminal. The only difference is, as the card is being used to make a purchase in the terminal, you hold your finger or thumb on the embedded sensor.
Here's a quick video demonstrating how the fingerprint feature works:
When this security feature is implemented, only the person whose fingerprint is embedded into the card will be able to make purchases with it. This really should help cut down on all the credit card fraud that is happening.