Credit card security has long been a contentious issue in the US and Visa will soon be shaking things up again. They’ve recently begun to push for US retailers to move toward Europay-MasterCard-Visa integrated circuit cards, otherwise known as “Chip and PIN” technology. These are typically used in Europe and Asia, and offer many benefits.
One of the biggest differences with these systems is that authentication of a card can actually be performed offline, while in the US, telecommunication is an absolute must to be able to accept a card. The reality, however, is that the European network offers retailers more benefits, even the ability to eliminate the actual card and pay by mobile phone instead.
Visa has gone so far as to say that by 2015, it will require merchants to reimburse card issuers for fraud cases because the new systems can wholly prevent it. One of the biggest issues in this fight is the fact that there is no consensus in the US on card security, and converting will cost US merchants some serious cash. The US market is in a wait and see approach, but with enough pressure, they’re likely to switch because of the benefits to card holders.