Sharing a laugh with your girlfriends over a cup of coffee has become a tradition of sorts. It's the perfect end to a stressful day at work, and the corner café provides the perfect ambience.
You've used your magnetic strip card to settle the bill at this café countless times. You appreciate never having to walk to the counter in order to make the swipe because the waiter/waitress will come for it. Sounds like a typical coffee shop scenario, and there's no cause for alarm. Wrong!
Why Are You Still Using A Magnetic Strip Card?
The race towards a cashless society has never had the kind of momentum that it has today. The increasing momentum has brought with it a wave in the form of credit card fraud. Magnetic strip cards make for easy targets in the eyes of an identity thief. When the card is swiped through a card reader, your information is left on the reader. Anyone who might gain unlawful access to this reader can easily steal your personal information.
A better question is why isn't your favorite coffee shop protecting its customers by upgrading to a more secure point of sale system, such as a chip and pin card reader?
Secondly, your transactions have probably been rejected a few times, and you always blame it on the card reader at the coffee shop. When the magnetic strip on your card is exposed to a strong magnetic field, data stored on the card might be erased.
Magnetic strip cards are inexpensive to produce, and that's why the card provider will offer a replacement card quite willingly should your card get damaged. You should only conclude that card reader at the coffee shop is faulty if your transactions only seem to be rejected at the corner café.
Why Are You Giving The Waiter/Waitress Your Credit Card?
This essentially exposes you to credit card fraud. As the waiter heads towards the counter, he has more than enough time to extract and store your credit card information in a card skimming device. Sure, the management at the corner café will perform background checks before employing waiters/waitresses, but no one is born a credit card fraudster. There's a first time for everything.
However, you don't have to sacrifice the convenience of not walking to the counter in order to protect your credit card information. Management at the corner café only needs to introduce portable card readers.