If you make one New Year's resolution this year, pledge to pay closer attention to your credit card.
"Next year is shaping up to be the biggest year for credit card changes since the Credit CARD Act came out and shook things up in 2009," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com.
One of the biggest changes—EMV technology—will put new credit cards in most shoppers' hands by the end of 2015. Computer chips embedded in these cards generate a unique transaction code every time you use them for a purchase, offering greater protection against fraud. There's no need to apply for a new credit card to snag one, said Schulz. Issuers are already mailing them out.
As a side effect of the new high-tech cards, shoppers may find there's also more opportunity to use a mobile wallet, said Schulz. Many of the new point-of-sale terminals that retailers are installing to read the new chip cards also work with the technology behind Apple Pay and other mobile wallets.
Even with the added security measures, though, monitoring your credit card statements is still going to be important. "We're definitely in this transition period where issuers are putting out these cards but not everybody has them," said Schulz. "Stores don't all have the terminals, and those that do haven't all turned them on." Until then, hackers can still commit the same kind of large-scale data breaches shoppers have seen plenty of in recent years at chains including Target, Home Depot and Michael's.