Some credit card companies upgrading to ‘smart cards’

(CNN) — We’ve all been concerned about the safety of our credit card transactions after the recent widespread theft of credit card information from retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

Today we have information about a completely new credit system in the works that could make us a lot safer.

One U.S. senator recently pointed out that nearly half of the world’s credit card fraud happens in the United States. Many blame an old-fashioned payment system.

Now some card companies are now looking to upgrade to “smart cards” — which means the swipe-and-sign routine will be replaced with credit card chips and pins.

The “Wall Street Journal” reports that by the end of next year there will be a new ritual in the checkout line. You’ll swipe your card into a card reader, enter in a pin number, and then go — no signature required.

The new cards will be embedded with a microchip with security data that experts say will be harder to hack.

Visa and Mastercard have already announced that they’ll make the switch by October 2015.

Many other countries that also had a problem with credit card fraud made the switch years ago with much success.

But it’s not foolproof.

The smartcard readers and pin pads are used for in-store sales, so these more sophisticated cards can’t stop fraud in online shopping.

The United States is behind the curve on this one, and it will be one of the last major counties to switch to this system.

However, be on the lookout for this by fall 2015.

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