MasterCard today announced enhancements to its industry leading security efforts, providing U.S. cardholders with greater protection from fraud and identity theft. “Fraud prevention and detection is a 24/7 job at MasterCard. The changes that we’re making in cardholder protection combined with our efforts to move the U.S. payments industry to EMV chip technology will help deliver safer shopping experiences to consumers,” said Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets for MasterCard. All MasterCard credit, debit, prepaid and small business cards issued in the U.S. will now carry Identity Theft Resolution assistance. The program provides help in canceling missing cards and alerting credit reporting agencies, as well as targeting searches to detect if stolen personal and confidential data appears online. MasterCard is also extending its zero liability policy in the U.S. to include all MasterCard PIN-based and ATM transactions. This is in addition to coverage already provided on signature debit and credit transactions. Cardholders will have greater peace of mind knowing that they are protected if their MasterCard-branded consumer or small business cards are fraudulently used in stores, online or at ATMs. “Cardholder protection is a primary responsibility for payment networks. It’s a positive step that MasterCard is offering increased protections and peace of mind to its cardholders as the U.S. market prepares for EMV,” said Nick Holland, Senior Payments Analyst, Javelin Strategy & Research. Banks and financial institutions issuing MasterCard-branded cards provide financial indemnity against fraud. The Identity Theft coverage extension begins in July 2014. The Zero Liability coverage extension takes effect in October 2014. MasterCard and EMV MasterCard continues to help strengthen the U.S. payment system for consumer and merchants by driving the move to EMV technology. The U.S. card market is currently adopting newer chip card technology. Computer chips embedded in credit and debit cards generate dynamic and unique codes for each purchase, making it more difficult to steal data or create counterfeit cards. Chip technology is currently used in Asia, Canada and Europe and has reduced fraud in all of these markets.