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Major consumer credit card breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus have turned new attention on efforts to upgrade U.S. banks and retailers to a credit card standard that's combating fraud across the globe: by adding a $1.50 chip to credit cards to pump up the security of our transactions.
Retailers, banks and regulators have worked to make these chip cards, called Europay MasterCard Visa, or EMV, cards, take a foothold in Europe and Asia.
Relatively low fraud rates in the United States made it less urgent to use the chips in the U.S. market. But America's slow adoption of the chips had a drawback: It helped make U.S. consumers more vulnerable as fraud targets. Now there's a new push to get U.S. vendors to update their systems.
Here's a look at how these cards work from The Washington Post's Todd Lindeman, along with more charts showing how the chip cards have reduced the rate of credit card fraud around the world, making the United States a potentially bigger target.