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EMV (Chip and PIN) Payment Cards

What is EMV?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. It is a global standard for chip-based payment cards and the technology used to authenticate chip-enabled card transactions. EMV is often used interchangeably with the terms "chip-and-pin," "smart card" and "chip-enabled card."

Why does my credit card have a small metal rectangle embedded in it?

On traditional credit cards, information needed to conduct a transaction is stored on a magnetic stripe. The data does not change. If the magnetic stripe is copied, it can be used to create a counterfeit card. Newer credit cards have an embedded security chip. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the chip is used to create a unique transaction code for each purchase that cannot be reused.

How do I use an EMV card?

Chip-and-PIN – To make a purchase, the cardholder inserts the card into a reader and enters their PIN number. The card remains in the reader while the chip authorizes the transaction.

Chip-and-Signature – Making a purchase is similar to Chip and PIN, except the cardholder signs at the point-of-sale terminal instead of entering a PIN number. If a terminal doesn’t have the ability to process PIN numbers, it will fall back to accepting a signature.

Why does my card have both a stripe and a chip?

Not all merchants have completed upgrading their point-of-sale equipment to support the security chips. Cards are being issued with both the chip and stripe so that card user spending is not disrupted while the transition to chip-enabled cards is under way. Eventually, all payment cards will be chip enabled and magnetic stripes will cease to be issued.

Are EMV Cards More Secure?

EMV cards are designed to prevent fraud at the point-of-sale terminal. They help prevent counterfeiting and reduce the impact of a data breach at the point-of-sale. EMV cards DO NOT protect against online fraud or physical theft. You still need to protect the credit card number and the security code on the back.