Magnetic Stripe Credit Cards Will Go Away

It’s time to prepare a eulogy to a gadget that’s been an even bigger part of the American landscape for a much longer time–the magnetic stripe credit card.

In 2005, Eurozone banks converted their cards to the so-called “chip and pin” system, in which a more secure microchip embedded in the card performs most of the security functions. Because U.S. banks are still using the old system, most European banks and merchants still have to accept the old-fashioned cards and the fraud that comes with them–and they are sick of it.

The European Payments Council recently passed a resolution mandating that use of “use of magnetic stripe fallback (be restricted) to exceptional cases” and allowing banks to “to refuse magnetic stripe transactions if they so wish.”

As a recent banking blog put it, the European council wants to “kill the old magnetic stripe.” U.S. travelers could soon find additional trouble when making mag stripe purchases during travel in Europe. Already, some European vending machines, such as train ticket kiosks, require smart cards for purchases.

Story by Bob Sullivan for MSNBC



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