It's the slightly more secure version of the card, where it has a
chip, but it still has a magnetic stripe. The skimmer pulled the data
from the magnetic strip. Had it been the European-style chip and PIN
card that doesn't have the magnetic stripe, the skimmer wouldn't have
been able to hack it.
Someone in the US can't actually use a chip and PIN card without a strip
And that means to change over, for a while we'll have to carry two
versions of the same card, or they'll have to have two kinds of readers
at every location, right? It will take quite a while and a lot of
What happens if I try to use my strip-based Visa card overseas now?
Last trip a few years ago, I used it often to get money.
Here in Canada, my Avion Visa-Infinite card (with $14k credit limit)
that I got about 4 years ago has a chip - and mag strip.
I don't think I've used it anywhere in the past year that didn't have a
All chip-reader terminals have mag-swipe capability - for when the
connection to the chip fails and you have to resort to swiping the
card. This failure happens consistently at some vendors. For example,
there's one particular checkout lane at a local Home Despot that
constantly fails to connect to the chip on my card.
Pretty much all gas pumps are converted to chip-readers. When you
insert the card, you hear a small click and the card is physically
locked in the mechanism until the transaction is completed. As with all
chip transactions, you enter a 4-digit pin and the transaction
proceeds. No signature required (not that any signature was ever
required at gas pumps).
Using either my current Visa card (with chip) and previous Visa (without
chip) in the US going back at least 6 years, I can't remember a time
when I'd use the cards at a US gas pump and NOT be asked to punch in a
zip code. Which never worked because they didn't seem to have a method
for converting a 6-digit alpha-numeric postal code into a 5-digit zip
code. So I always ended up paying inside.
You can use one reader. Europe can generally take our US cards by
swiping. There will have to be a transition period though. My guess is
the chip and pin cards will also have a magnetic strip at least
initially until new readers are in place.
Still can be used. That may change in the future, but right now, Europe
will take our money in many versions. The best exchange rates I found
were by using the ATM.
So that puts everyone in the PayPal President's shoes, no safer than we
are now.. Someone posted that he had a dual-method card.
It felt weird. I'd charged a lunch in Belgium on MasterCard as early
as 1973 (there was a big MasterCard sticker on the front door, almost as
wide as the door, but it still took them 20 minutes to accept my card.
I guess the sticker was meant for locals. I had to charge it because
there were 3 of us and the other guy, who was 7 years older than I or
more and owned a business, kept paying for everything. I didn't like
him though. He was cheating on his wife (with my female friend, ugh.
I didn't know he was married, until he had me over to his home for lunch
and his wife had to serve me lunch in the back yard. I don't know if
she knew who I was. I know she knew he was having an affair, because
he had planned to go with my ffriend on her summer vacation for 3 or 4
weeks, and he told his wife about it, and she told him she'd leave him
if he did, so he didn.t. I was glad to get back to the USA where no
one I know does stuff like this. (Actually no one I knew here at the
time was married so it was easy not to do stuff like this.)
But it was still a big deal 5 years ago when I got money from an ATM in
A magnetic strip has to be passed through a swiper
to read it, say within 1/4 inch. No walking by you
to read the thing.
A chip (RFID) you can read from probably a foot
a way. Not sure which is more secure.
Now RFID tags have a drawback. You can only read the
outer cans in a pallet of cans as the magnetic
exciter field can't go through metal. So, make up
two thin strips of sheet metal (lot of nickel helps)
to place on both sides of your chip credit cards
in your wallet. Should protect you against walk
by ass holes.
Oh yes, and there is another absolutely secure method
many have forgotten about. It is called "cash".
Then the ass holes have to mug you directly. And in my
state (Nevada), they have to practice running over
800 feet per second before they can pull that one off.
(More guns, less crime. Funny how that works.)
Here is how ass holes steal any kind of card:
the riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped
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