Chip and Pin is fairly foolproof - in Australia most cards issuers now will not let you use signature any more.
But what gets my goat is the contactless mode. Here you can use this for anything up to $100. I do use it and it is very easy, but the same would apply to anyone who stole my card and such a thief could probably clean my account out in a couple of hours using contactless. A lot of places also don't need a pin for transactions less than $35 and I also find that a bit dodgy.
If the card issuers offered the facility, I would disable contactless and PIN-less on my cards. Then, as long as I was careful with my PIN, I could look at being reasonably safe if my card was stolen, the only way a thief could use it then would be online. Does the card infomation include an address? It ought to, and any online purchases that did not specify that address should be refused.
Indeed, the U.S. will be the last civilized country to abandon the antiquated mag stripe for the chip. It really is getting difficult for Americans to use credit & debit cards abroad, because even if a retailer still has a mag stripe reader somewhere, he has to find it, plug it in and hope it still works, just to complete the transaction with his American customer's vintage credit card.
On the other hand, the shift in liability for fraudulent transaction from the card issuer to the card holder is not something American consumers will welcome, and rightly so -- chip & PIN isn't completely fraud-proof.
About time! The UK has had this technology for years now and the only time I see a card without the chip is when I see an American Tourist. It's amusing to pop into a store and being behind an American in the queue. The casher keeps telling the American to insert their card and the American just stands there inserting their card, removing their card, inserting their card etc. It's not until its pointed out to the pair of them that they are trying to use a non-chip card on a chip reading device.
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