credit card smart chipIn some parts of the world, credit card companies have done away with the need for magnetic stripes and instead relied on chip technology to help detect and authorize credit card payments. This is apparently harder for criminals to make counterfeit cards and makes transactions more secure.

Now you might recall that earlier this year, it was reported that US credit card companies would be switching to the new system, dubbed EMV, in the coming 18 months, and according to an earlier report, it looks like President Obama has decided to speed things up a bit by signing an executive order to help speed up the adoption of EMV-standard cards in the US.

This comes in the wake of major retailers such as Target and Home Depot (just to name a few) who have been hacked and where credit card information as well as other personal information could have been stolen in the process. According to the White House, retailers such as Home Depot, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart will start activating EMV-compatible terminals by January 2015.

According to the press release, “The goal is not just to ensure the security of doing retail business with the government, but also, through this increased demand, to help drive the market towards swifter adoption of stronger security standards.”

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