On Sunday, police in Texas arrested two drivers carrying 96 fake credit cards, which authorities initially suspected were manufactured using numbers stolen in the massive Target credit card breach. On the same day, South Korean authorities announced “the theft of personal information from more than 100 million South Korean credit cards and accounts.” As data heists become ever-more aggressive, it is increasingly necessary to switch from America’s hoary card-swiping to the chip-and-PIN cards that have made Europe safer.
The age when consumers paid with cash and checks seems as quaint and distant as the age when horses trotted down Commonwealth Avenue and gas lights flickered in the dusk. Seventy-eight percent of Americans have debit cards, and 70 percent have credit cards. Much of the credit- and debit-card revolution is real progress. Our transactions are quicker. Retailers who want to sell to customers without bundles of currency don’t need to operate their own mini-lending agencies.