U.S. behind the times when it comes to credit card security - WFLA News Channel 8

U.S. behind the times when it comes to credit card security

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The massive Target data breach thrust credit card security into the spotlight. It is also calling into question why the United States has been so slow to switch to a more secure credit card system.

Loyal Target customer Melinda Mang says, "I love Target. I can't help it. You walk into buy one thing and you walk out with like a hundred things."

However, Mang is a little disgruntled after being a victim of the retail giants massive security breach back in December.

She didn't realize she was a victim until both her Target credit card and her Target-issued debit card were recently denied when she tried to shop at Target.

Mang says getting in touch with Target to get her cards re-issued hasn't been easy. "It's frustrating. I was on the phone for five hours, two days in a row and nothing."

Mang is one of millions of consumers now caught in the cross hairs of a credit card security meltdown in the United States.

The magnetic strip technology so popular in the U.S. is outdated. In other parts of the world, Europe for example, chip and pin technology is the standard. It is a vastly more secure way to protect your information.

Gerri Detweiler of Credit.com says, "We are very behind the times in the U.S. when it comes to credit card security. We're using old technology and it's making it really easy for hackers, a lot of times based in Europe where the protections are stronger, to get into our systems."

Detweiler says money is one of the main reasons the U.S. has not made the switch. "It's very expensive to upgrade the system. You have all the cards to replace, you've got every single retail terminal that has to be refitted with new card readers. We're talking million and billions of dollars to upgrade our technology."

The massive Target data breach is proving to be the catalyst that will propel change in the United States.

Experts now predict 95% of credit cards in the U.S. will have the chips by 2015. Right now, only about 5% do.

"It's been one of those situations where no one wants to be the first. no one wants to spend the money on the upgrade until someone else requires it. so, we're moving in that direction but, quite frankly, not fast enough," says Detweiler.

Ironically, the magnetic strip likely wasn't the weakness that allowed the Target breach to occur. Detweiler says, "It happened from the hackers getting the information as it was being transmitted through the system, so chip and pin probably wouldn't have stopped that and wouldn't have stopped these card numbers from being used for on line shopping but it still is a more secure environment generally."

The fact is, there is no perfect solution according to Detweiler. "Crooks are creative. If we find one way to stop one kind of fraud they are going to find another way to get into our wallets."

Related Content: America's best EMV "Chip with signature" credit cards


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:44:22 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.