THE HOLDOUT: The U.S. is the only developed country that has stuck to credit and debit cards with magnetic stripes. Other countries are using or are in the process of moving to cards that use chips for added security.
THE NEWS: Visa has announced measures that should start pushing U.S. banks and merchants to issue and accept smart cards.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Because magnetic stripes aren’t as secure as chips, the U.S. has higher rates of fraud for counterfeit cards, saddling banks, merchants and consumers with billions in costs every year. Switching to smart cards would also cost billions for terminal upgrades.