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Americans are using a controversial new microchip technology in some new credit and debit cards to make it easier and quicker to purchase groceries, cigarettes and gasoline. In addition, the cards tie those purchases into the supply chain more rapidly with a flick of the wrist. Backed by powerhouses American Express, Visa and MasterCard, contactless credit and debit cards use Radio Frequency Identification technology that replaces the magnetic stripe used to authorize the card for purchases.
It's nice to know that banks are applying encryption and other security measures to these cards. It's also good that there is a maximum liability safety net in case of fraud. However, as time goes on people will figure out how to get past the security measures. They already have figured out how to boost RFID reading range by using specialized equipment. If you have one of these cards in your pocket, you should consider something like an RFID Shield http://www.rfid-shield.com/ to keep your data secure.