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No. of Recommendations: 3

You wrote, Give me back my swipe cards. Faster than using the chips, and faster than using the cell phone. Screw extra security, I want the least effort.

Right... I don't find them all that painful. And the POS systems seem to be getting better, at least around here.

The additional security actually benefits the merchants most because banks mostly make the merchants eat credit card fraud. The chip is used to cryptographically authenticate a transaction by signing it with a key that only the bank and the chip know. This should guarantee that the card is authentic - assuming a hacker doesn't expose a bank's database.

This benefits the merchant because it proves that the merchant was in possession of a legitimate card at the time of the transaction. That makes it tough to dispute the charge, because only the NSA could afford the devoted resources needed to duplicate a chipped card. (Even then they'd need to be in possession of the card for a while.) So now the merchant now has proof that the card was authentic making it difficult for the bank to justify a charge-back on the basis of fraud.

This one change effectively ends a huge fraction of all credit card fraud. Once every brick and mortar merchant requires chipped cards, the banks will need to figure out how to do something similar for online merchants.

In any case, it's still faster than paying cash. And way faster than writing a check.

- Joel
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