In the coming year, banks in the United States are replacing debit or credit cards with versions that have tiny computer chips embedded in them, a move that claims to make shopping in stores more secure. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/your-money/credit-and-debit-cards/banks-in-us-moving-to-chip-based-debit-and-credit-cards.html?src=twr&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0
Bank of America, for instance, has just announced that, beginning this month, all new bank customers will be issued debit cards with chip technology, and that existing cards will be upgraded as they expire. The cards work by creating a unique code for each transaction. The change will not necessarily stop data breaches from occurring, security experts say. Most credit and debit cards in the United States rely on older “magnetic strip” technology, which is vulnerable to hacking.
Many big banks and credit unions have already been issuing chip-enabled credit cards to customers who travel overseas, where the technology is in wider use. The switch to chip-based debit cards has been slower, however, because of more complex payment networks used by those cards, said Julie Conroy, research director for retail banking at Aite Group. A recent spate of data breaches is helping to accelerate the change, however. Home Depot, for example, revealed last month that data from 56 million cards had been stolen in a breach of its computer network.
A spokesman for Chase said the bank already offered numerous credit cards with chips and expected most of its debit cards to be chip-enabled by the end of next year. Wells Fargo says it is testing chip technology with its debit cards and plans to issue them “on a broad scale” in the coming year.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. Some tags are powered by electromagnetic induction from magnetic fields produced near the reader. Some types collect energy from the interrogating radio waves and act as a passive transponder. Other types have a local power source such as a battery and may operate at hundreds of meters from the reader. Unlike a barcode, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is one method for Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC).