The failure in the U.S. to abandon magnetic strips for credit card chips makes American consumers more vulnerable to Target-like hacking attacks, said Martin Ferenczi, chief executive of Oberthur Technologies—a leader in chip payment credit cards.
In these smarter cards, also known as EMV cards, the magnetic strips are replaced by an embedded computer chip and PIN-number system for point-of-sales purchases. (EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa—the companies that developed this payment standard, which is widely used outside of the U.S., although they cost much more to produce.)
(Read more: The dysfunctional state of America's credit cards)
"Our company has delivered to some major financial institutions in the U.S. cards in the millions for use overseas," Ferenczi said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "The world has moved to chip technology. So by definition, if the U.S. is not with chip technology, it becomes the weakest link, and the criminals focus on this geography."