Advances in security have been rapidly occurring in the market in recent years and the addition of temporary account numbers to be used only once for online purchases has been a great leap forward in credit card security.
Most financial analysts credit the invention of the magnetic strip with the rise in credit card use that began in the 1970’s. Prior to that using a credit card was not as easy as writing a check or paying with cash.
To pay with credit, you needed to hand over the credit card to a clerk who would then place the card in a manual machine that would make a carbon impression of the card.
Once the impression was made you would sign that multi-part carbon form and you would be given one copy. A second copy was for the merchant’s file and the third copy went to the provider of the credit card.
It was no wonder many people didn’t trust using a credit card any more often than necessary and purchases by credit were reserved to time when cash simply wasn’t available.
The Old System
The greatest danger of fraud with the old system was with the merchant’s copy of the receipt which contained the full credit card number.
It didn’t take long for con men to learn they could emboss blank cards with valid account numbers and charge purchases to unsuspecting credit card account holders.
Even though that original credit card system was open to abuse, the theft of accounts was limited. There was no internet in the 1970’s. How times have changed!
The addition of a magnetic strip to credit cards automated the credit process for the first time. Gradually the older impression machines were replaced with more sophisticated scanners which eliminated the multiple copies and provide an increased level of security for credit card users. The use of credit accounts exploded through the 1980’s and 90’s.
This was drive by the perception of increased levels of privacy provided by credit companies and later by internet shopping. To combat early ID theft and credit card fraud, lenders added a three digit personal code to the back of each credit card.
That code could be entered when using a credit card online or given if making a purchase by phone but was not recorded by the seller.
Currently it is estimated that almost half of all cardholders allow some balance to revolve from month to month. With over 40% of all credit card owners carrying a balance from month to month, the focus on security and identity theft has increased.
Although consumers are rightfully concerned about the security of their credit cards the facts show that identity theft by strangers is not the biggest security problem.
By far the greatest numbers of credit card accounts that are compromised involve someone who is related to or at least knows the victim.
The leaders in the credit industry now offer temporary account number to use online. This practice will become more common as technology improves but even now it can be a simple matter to generate temporary number on the website of your credit provider and use that number one time for a purchase.
Answering the question on” which credit lender is the safest one?” is like comparing peaches with apples as every company needs to meet particular security standards.
If I was you, I would use my time to educate myself about the various security threats (e.g identity theft, phishing and credit card skimming instead of wasting my energy on researching the companies for best security as you will never get an accurate answer on that question.