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U.S. credit cards to include European microchip technology

Tuesday - 1/21/2014, 5:39am  ET

WASHINGTON - Slowly but surely, banks, retailers and credit card companies are moving to next-generation credit cards. But will the new technology provide greater security?

Companies are shifting from magnetic strips, seen on nearly all credit cards in the United States to cards bearing memory chips like those used elsewhere in the world.

In fact, the chip-based technology is even called EMV, or Europay- Mastercard-Visa, which reflects its popularity abroad.

But the Star Tribune reports the new credit card technology will not prevent all fraud.

One vulnerability is at the point of sale. If the card terminal or register is hacked, thieves could acquire data embedded in the memory chip that is stored when customers pay.

In addition, because it will take retailers time to acquire equipment to read the memory chip, cards will include both chip and strip for some time. Security experts say the dual-embedded data will present a risk.

U.S. cards with EMV will not be required to include PINs, which further upsets critics who contend that PINs on credit and debit cards make transactions more secure.

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