New to Credit Cards with EMV chips? Here’s your guide to everything you need to know about them.
If the safety of your Credit Cards gives you sleepless nights, this article is for you. It’s time to put your Credit Card security worries to rest with the new Credit Cards that are incorporated with the EMV chip. In case you’re wondering, EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.
Currently, banks are in the process of replacing existing magnetic strip Debit and Credit Cards with the latest EMV chip ones, to comply with guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
These are also called chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature credit cards. They look the same as old Credit Cards but come with a metal square on the front, right above the card number. This metallic square is nothing but a protective covering for the chip.
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How are the EMV chip-based Credit Cards better?
The EMV chip technology is fast emerging as the latest global standard for Credit Card payments. EMV is an acronym for Europay Mastercard and Visa, who developed this technology. EMV cards are chip-based and come with advanced safety features that prevent fraudulent activities and malpractices such as Credit Card skimming and cloning.
Curious about how this technology works? Well, just like the magnetic strip on the old Credit Cards, the EMV chip holds your information and transmits the same to payment processors during a transaction. This is carried out in a way that is far more difficult for cybercriminals to hack and misuse. Intrigued? Read on to find out more
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How do these cards work?
While making a purchase with an EMV chip based Credit Card, remember that it’s not a swipe-and-go action unlike the magnetic strip based Credit Cards. At an EMV-enabled terminal, you’ll have to lower your card in a slot below the numeric keypad.
Once you’ve placed your card into the slot, follow the cues on the screen. You’ll have to keep your Credit Card placed there until the transaction has processed.
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Transactions made through the EMV chip-based Credit Cards take slightly longer to process when compared with swiping your card. Note that not all merchants will have EMV-enabled terminals.
Let’s say you’re at a terminal that is not EMV-enabled. In this case, even if you have an EMV Credit Card, you’ll have to swipe it in order to complete the transaction.
Wondering what to do while making an online purchase? Well, while making online purchases with EMV Credit Cards, you’ll still need to enter your card number, date of expiration, security code, and billing address.
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Do EMV Credit Cards require a PIN?
Well, a chip-and-PIN based version of these EMV cards has been in use for several years in most countries. These card variants make use of the EMV chip technology, and the cardholder is required to manually enter a PIN for transactions. This is the same as what you’d do while using your Debit Card.
The new variants of EMV chip based Credit Cards come with the chip-and-signature attribute wherein the card holder needs to sign during Credit Card purchases. This is even simple if your card is contactless. In that case, you’ll simply need to tap your Credit Card on the card reader and complete your transaction.
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Safety features that come with EMV cards?
EMV cards are smart payment options. These are also called chip cards or integrated circuit (IC) cards because instead of magnetic stripes, these store data on microprocessor chips embedded in your card. Therefore, every time you make a transaction, these cards create dynamic data, making it nearly impossible for fraudsters to duplicate your card.
Every time you use your EMV card at a terminal, a unique encrypted code called a token or cryptogram is generated. This code is specific only to that transaction. This is one of the mechanisms developed to protect bank customers from grappling with the increasing number of fraudulent attempts using practices such as phishing and card skimming.
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If you suspect any fraud or malicious activity on your account, call your card issuer using the number on the back of your card. They’ll guide you on how to proceed.
Though the EMV chip adds a second layer of security to every payment made, there are a couple of other important things you can do to secure your card.
- Sign your new card as soon as you receive it.
- Do not share confidential information such as account number and PIN.
- Analyse your bank and Credit Card statements when you receive them. Spot any transactions you’re not familiar with.
- If you spot any suspicious activity in your account, immediately alert your bank and service provider.
- Frequently check to make sure that none of your cards are missing.
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