The Federal Government is making an important enhancement to protect the credit cards used by thousands of Federal employees. On October 18th, President Obama signed an Executive Order that requires that microchips and PIN numbers be added to the Federal Government’s credit and debit cards.  These security measures be will added beginning in January 2015.

In his Executive Order, the President also announced that several major companies are also taking steps to enhance the security of their systems and provide more customer protections.  The companies doing so include Home Depot, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Target.  These companies will begin using chip and PIN-compatible card terminals in their stores — many of them by January 2015.

The “chip and PIN” protections are already used widely for credit cards used in Europe.  While nothing is completely 100% “hacker proof” these types of protections add important levels of security to credit and debit cards.  Let’s hope that more companies start installing chip and PIN-comptabile card terminals and that these security protections begin to be used more widely in the United States.