Earlier this year MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V) announced they would be joining forces to push for greater security in the payments industry in the United States. And one of the key ways they sought to do this was through the adoption of EMV technology. 

But what is EMV, anyways? The Motley Fool spoke with an expert to find out.

The history
EMV technology was first used in France in 1992, originally developed as a joint effort between Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Currently, there are over 1 billion cards across the world that utilize this technology. It embeds a chip into each individual credit card that stores and protects the data in an effort to increase security and reduce fraud. 

While it's easy to see which cards do and don't have EMV, what isn't easy is to grasp exactly how EMV works and protects consumers. 

In the video below, Motley Fool contributor Patrick Morris speaks with Matt Getzelman of Coalfire, a risk management firm, at the payments industry TRANSACT14 conference to better understand exactly what EMV is and what it means to consumers.

Patrick Morris has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends MasterCard and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of MasterCard and Visa. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.