About EMV Cards
Americans report billions of
dollars in credit and debit card fraud each year. A new technology using
microprocessors called EMV chips could help curb future losses.
The chips are embedded on the
front of credit and debit cards and exchange information with chip-card
readers. Used together, the two make it harder for fraudsters to copy card
information and make bogus in-store purchases.
Here's what you need to know about
If you have an EMV card, you'll
insert the chipped end into a slot on an EMV-enabled reader, instead of
swiping. Leave the card there for a few seconds, while the chip exchanges
information with the payment processing system and authenticates the account;
then remove it. Depending on the account, you might also sign for the purchase
or enter a personal identification number, or PIN, to verify your identity and
complete the sale.
chips protect you
Named for developers Europay,
MasterCard and Visa, EMV chips encrypt your information and generate a unique
code each time you use your card. Each code can be used only once — so they're
useless to hackers.
Traditional cards use a magnetic
strip that transmits the same unencrypted information every time you swipe. If
someone copies the data, he or she can easily duplicate your plastic and use it
to make fraudulent purchases.
EMV-enabled cards are already the
standard in parts of Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. In the
U.S., where credit and debit card fraud losses have risen steadily over the
past few years, retailers and issuers are slowly catching up. Many issuers have
sentnew EMV cards to customers, and chip-card readersare becoming
more common at stores across the U.S.
Banks, credit card companies and
merchants in the U.S. pickedup the pace of adoption last fall, when
newfraud liability standards went into effect.Before Oct.
1,credit card issuers had bornethe brunt of fraud losses, but responsibility
nowcould fall to the retailer, if its system is less secure
than the card used.
means for you
There's a good chance you've already
received an EMV card. Using an EMV card at a retailer that has a chip-reading
system should make your purchase more secure. It will also make it easier to
use your card in the myriad countries that already have the technology.
Traditional cards can still be used most places too.
Although EMV technology helps you
shop more safely, it doesn't thwart thieves entirely. Hackers can still pilfer
your card information online or over the phone, or simply steal your card.
So it's wise to exercise caution when using your credit or debit card. If your
card goes missing or you spot suspicious activity, notify your financial
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