Q&A: How to improve credit card security

Dear Liz: Can you please explain why a personal identification number is not required when one uses a credit card? I know people who’ve had their card stolen and used quickly and for large amounts. That would immediately protect the credit card company from paying millions to cover losses.

Answer: “Chip and PIN” cards — which combine a microchip with a personal identification number — are the norm in most of the rest of the world. In the U.S., however, credit card issuers are reluctant to require their customers to use PINs.

The issuers are worried people would find the PINs to be a hassle and would opt to use a competitor’s card that didn’t require remembering and entering a number. The massive amount of fraud that results is considered a cost of doing business.

Consumers aren’t on the hook to pay for these bogus transactions as long as the fraud is reported within 60 days of the charges appearing on a statement. But compromised cards are still a hassle.

One of the best ways to protect your credit cards from fraud is to use mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. These systems don’t expose your credit card number to the merchants and allow you to pay for purchases quickly and securely.

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  1. I have a couple of credit cards and never understood why there is no security
    if I loose a card in a store or parking lot and before I realize it missing someone could have charged a few thousand dollars
    The issuers seem to be making big profits to be able to write off the losses
    There should be a choice to have a pin code and make it harder for crooks

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