In the wake of the Chase breach, we’re finally getting the first firm word that a giant monster mega bank is introducting chip security for debit cards.
Bank of America is now doing chips in debit cards for new customers only, according to the company’s official website. If you’re an existing customer, you have to contact them if you want to get one in yours.
As for the other big banks like Wells Fargo and Citibank, don’t expect them to be compliant with the chips until 2015.
A long history of not doing chip and PIN!
Sadly, The United States is the only developed nation that has not adopted the chip and PIN standard in our credit and debit cards. We’re still using magnetic strip technology from the 1960s; that’s why crooks target U.S. payment systems for hacking.
If you’ve not seen the chip I’m talking about, it’s a little silver shiny thing that is about a third of an inch square. That chip means that even if a crook can capture your card info, they can’t duplicate the card.
When you use a card with chip and PIN, you’re required to punch in a secret code at checkout, rather than signing for a transaction.
How to safely use a debit card without a chip
The reality is customers who use debit cards are hit hardest by any breach. If you wish to continue using debit in the future, be sure you tie it into a separate account that’s only used for debit transactions. I like to call it your “walking around” money. That way, only that money you transfer to your separate account is at risk in a breach. Not the money you need to pay your mortgage or a car note, or to put food on the table.
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