Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 16

You wrote, So what I want to know, what are they swiping that has my debit card number on it? How did they get my debit card number?

Magnetic tape was invented in 1928. The technology achieved wide adoption in the 1950s. The technology to read and write that magnetic strip has been around for nearly a century.

However there is still one application that uses it, despite all the drawbacks. And you can buy a portable, hand-held reader/writer from Amazon for $129. It has been made largely obsolete by optical recording technologies, where density is important; but banks have insisted on using because of all the existing infrastructure.

Anyone can read the data off of your debit card and anyone can clone your debit card with the necessary information. They don't even really need access to the original card, which is why hacking a merchant's servers is so lucrative. The contents of the strip are in plain text and they can substitute your information on a blank card. All they really need is your name, the account number, the expiration date and the CVV.

The simplicity and openness of the system is appalling from a security standpoint. And that is precisely why I don't like having a debit card.

- Joel
Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.