Credit Card News: Security

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Biometric Technology Brings Increased Security For Credit Card Holders
23 Oct
Credit card fraud is an ongoing problem for merchants, consumers and financial institutions alike. According to a wide-ranging Lexis Nexis study, merchants in the United States lose nearly $200 billion a year to credit card fraud, while banks lose about $11 billion and customers lose $5 billion annually.

Now a new way to fight fraud is on the horizon, with the advent of "smart" credit cards that can read a fingerprint to ensure the person presenting the card is the actual cardholder. Tech firm SmartMetric is currently presenting its biometric card to consumers in North and South America as well as various regions across Europe.

The SmartMetric card was developed as a credit card that is secured and activated by a fingerprint; users simply touch the card’s surface, which has a built-in fingerprint scanner with a sensor, to activate the card. Without activation, the card cannot be used to make a payment or get cash from an ATM.

The need for security goes beyond payment cards

SmartMetric isn't limiting itself to just payment cards, however. They are also offering their biometric security technology to health insurers, who want to make sure people aren't using stolen health insurance cards to pay for their care.

The cards can also store a user's complete medical file, making it easy for travelers to get personalized health care wherever they are. Major health insurance providers have greeted the card with enthusiasm.

Awareness increases security

Until you have a biometric credit card in your wallet—and most of us don't, at least not yet - there are things you can do to keep yourself safe from credit card fraud. Always keep your card number private, and don't write your PIN down where someone can find it. Be aware of your surroundings when using your credit or debit card, and only make credit card payments over a secure and private Wi-Fi connection.

Most major credit cards now offer easy ways to freeze your account if you see suspicious charges, have lost or misplaced your card, or have any reason to suspect that your information may have been compromised. By using these security measures, you can do a lot to prevent payment card fraud.

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