Greater credit card security being rolled out

For decades, nearly every credit card ever issued in the U.S. has featured the same type of security, but now many of the nation’s top lenders are looking to upgrade.

The little black magnetic strip on the back of all consumers’ credit cards has stored account data since the cards were invented, but now the security of this type of technology has been far outstripped by the alternative, which is known as “chip and pin,” according to a report from the consumer finance site Bankrate. Now, many of the nation’s top lenders are putting plans in place to slowly begin the shift to the newer, more secure data storage technique.

Visa and MasterCard, the two largest credit card issuers in the world, are trying to have chip and pin card readers installed in most retail locations and ATMs within the next few years, the report said. A number of companies have also granted this type of card to consumers who regularly travel abroad.

Chip and pin cards have been the norm in most foreign countries – particularly those in Europe, Asia and Latin America – for some time now.