Credit card security: How much better is chip vs. swiping?

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CHICAGO -- Things are changing in the credit card world.

Maybe you are one of the millions in America who have already switched from the stripe and the swipe to that new chip on your card.

It's all for security's sake, we're told. But the change is far from over.

American credit card companies are finally transitioning away from the decades old swiping method because, among other things, those old magnetic stripes are too easy to counterfeit.

More than thee-quarters of a billion credit and debit cards are in use in the U.S.

By the end of the year, over 90 percent will be converted to cards with a chip -- you know, the ones you shove into the retailer's machine. Then you wait, and wait, for what seems like an eternity to some.

Over the next couple of years, a pin number is the next thing that will be required. Because while the chip helps at point of sale in a store, it doesn't stop online fraud.

So how can credit card companies tackle those numbers? Thumbprint readers were entertained at first, only to find out that some kits make it way too easy to pick up fingerprints from your card or cellphone and duplicate them to crack into your account.

The next level: futuristic in every way is already here. Mastercard is rolling out sophisticated facial recognition software this summer. Yep, the same kind government agencies use to track terrorists will allegedly better protect your credit card when you shop online. The card owner's photo will be on file and checked against every purchase they make online. Here's how it works: after you enter your card number, you then send Mastercard a selfie.

But... one more thing about that facial recognition software. It is not one dimensional. Taking a selfie of a cardholder's picture to complete an online purchase won't work. An expert says it reads that selfie in 3-D.

The future is here.

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