Credit card security technology to take step forward

Credit card security technology to take step forward Consumers concerned about being hit by fraudulent credit card debt may soon have less reason to worry, as the world's two largest card issuers are taking steps to upgrade security.

Visa and MasterCard are now taking steps to improve credit card security by encouraging businesses and ATM owners to upgrade their card reading systems so that they'll accept transactions completed with a new, safer type of card, according to a report from the consumer finance site Bankrate. These companies are trying to encourage the use of so-called "chip and pin" cards – those that store data on a microchip embedded in the card and require the user to enter a code when confirming purchases.

The companies hope to have these changes in place within the next year and a half or so, as MasterCard has set a goal of April 2013 as a date for ATM operators to install systems that allow consumers to use chip and pin cards at these machines, the report said.

Chip and pin is the most common type of credit card by far in a number of foreign countries, leading to some Americans running into trouble finding businesses that can accept their U.S.-issued magnetic strip cards overseas.