Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Credit Card Fraud - Are the New Chip Cards Working?

Pardon the long interval since my last post.  Between vacation, family commitments, and just plain laziness, I have neglected my blog.

On the vacation front, we went to Germany and Northern Italy, which were very nice.  A few observations:
  • While we were touring wineries and eating the local ham and salami in Italy, it was announced that processed/cured meats and alcohol are carcinogens.  It did not alarm me as I did not see large tumors protruding from the backsides of the Italians and Germans in the streets.
  • These areas are great values.  Every time we had a meal, we looked at the bill and compared it to Northern Virginia.  We could have a gourmet meal with a bottle of good wine for about the same price as the local Virginia restaurant that just opened in a converted IHOP location (I am not kidding).
  • No sign of migrants, even around the train station in Munich. 
  • The Europeans are shocked by Trump and his lunacy.  They see him as the quintessential ugly American - ignorant, loudmouthed, prejudiced, rich, with a squirrel on his head masquerading as hair.  I explained that it was all about the ratings for the TV Networks.
  • Airport security in Italy leaves a lot to be desired. 
No one seemed to have a problem with my absence from my consulting job, so that was good.  Consulting does seem to be the ideal second career for someone like me.

While in Europe, we got to use our new chip-enabled credit cards.  They worked well there, but here in the US, despite all the deadlines, I have used the chip functionality exactly twice.  The readers are at the stores, but hardly any of them are enabled.  On top of that, we don't used a PIN with the card, so there is no protection against stolen cards.  I think the credit card companies and merchants are having a dispute and this is holding up usage and the addition of a PIN.  Perhaps they are watching Congress and think that argument and inaction are the best ways to resolve a dispute?

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