South Floridians and tourists in the area may have a new weapon to fight the epidemic of credit card fraud that’s hitting all over the country.
The United States Secret Service told NBC 6 that South Florida is now at the forefront of a nationwide effort that would make it even more difficult for criminals to commit credit card fraud or counterfeiting credit cards.
“EMV is a new payment technology,” said former Marine Eldred F. Garcia of the Electronic Payment Advisory Service. “One of the things that’s obvious is that it reduces fraud.”
Garcia was at a Key Biscayne restaurant Monday spreading the word about the new EVM card that’s now being mailed to some South Florida residents. The Secret Service believes Garcia is the perfect person to lead the effort to tell South Florida about the new credit card.
EMV stands for Europa-Mastercard-Visa. The credit card comes with an imbedded high tech chip that would replace the traditional magnetic strip that you’re familiar with on most cards. The card is encrypted, dynamic, and every transaction is completely unique.
“The new technology, what it does, is it creates dynamic information,” Garcia said. “It’s extremely important because dynamic information prevents somebody from grabbing the information and being able to use it in a counterfeit way.”
Each transaction will have completely new information being used on it. The technology will force merchants to have to change their machines soon. All merchants have to have new card reading machines the read the high-tech cards by the fall of 2015.
“Added security is always good,” said Fernando Lander-Artisan of Key Biscayne. “An extra layer of security is not going to hurt anybody that’s for sure.”
In Europe, the card has produced results. Credit card fraud in the United Kingdom was down 67 percent in one year. In the first year in France, the technology saw a 50 percent decrease in fraud and a 78 percent drop in counterfeit cards.
Garcia is meeting with merchants, tourist leaders, and even the Mayor of Miami to get them out in front of the effort.
For consumers, when you get your new card in the mail, you’ll see the embedded chip in the card. But, there will also be one extra step to get the most out of the protection online. You’ll have to get a card reader when you are using your computer to purchase items online with the maximum protection.