5 On Your Side

Credit card changes to provide better data protection

Posted February 10, 2014 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2014 6:37 p.m. EST

The way we use our credit cards will soon be history.

By next year, signatures will no longer be required, and cards will have a chip embedded that will make them harder to hack.

Consumers will also use a PIN, instead of a signature, as an added layer of security.

The changes, which will take effect no later than October 2015, should help in situations like the recent Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches.

The reason for the deadline is something called “liability shift.” If there is fraud with the new card, the party with the lesser technology - either the credit card company or the retailer - will be responsible for the cost.

That's motivation for everyone to get on board.

But keep in mind, the new technology helps in stores, not online.

Many other countries, including the United Kingdom, made the switch years ago. The United States is one of the last major counties to make the switch.