Do any of your credit cards offer any of these technologies?
Thieves may be getting smarter. But so are credit card companies. Here are 3 new technologies some credit card companies are using to help protect you from thieves.
Some credit card companies have started launching optional geolocation programs. Essentially, you download the credit card company’s app so that they can compare the location of your phone with transactions made using your card. That way, they can protect against a thief using your card in a location far away from where your phone says you are. So, if your phone is saying you’re somewhere in the United States and your card is used in a foreign country, for example, the transaction would be declined or you would be notified.
Companies rolling out geolocation technologies may also give you the ability to tell them the exact area you’d like your card to be used. So, you could let them know you just want your card to be able to be used in your city or state, for example.
2. EMV (Chip and PIN).
You may have noticed your credit card or cards now come with a chip. And you may have been asked to insert these cards into a slot rather than swiping them. These are EMV cards and they’ve recently become standard in the U.S.
Inserting these cards into the slot, rather than swiping them through, is generally a safer way to use them. That’s because, if you use the chip, these EMV cards’ data changes with each transaction you make. So, if a thief were to get ahold of one and try to create a duplicate, it wouldn’t be effective because your real card would generate a new one-time token every time a transaction is made.
3. Turning your card on and off.
Suspect someone may have stolen your card? Now some credit card companies are letting you turn your card off to block further use. Then, if everything turns out ok, you can turn your card back on and use it.
In some cases, the credit card company will let you turn your card off for certain types of purchases (online, for example) and keep it on for others (in-store, for example). This can be a good way to protect yourself when you suspect something’s wrong before the credit card company might find out, like if you thought you lost your card, but then found it later.
As you can see, card protection technologies are getting more and more advanced. But be careful: relying too much on the latest gizmos and gadgets can distract you from common-sense precautions. So, next time you use a card, look both ways before entering any sensitive PIN information and make sure you don’t misplace your cards!
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