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What You Need to Know About EMV

credit card security what you need to know about emv consumer iq

You might’ve recently received a new prepaid, debit or credit card equipped with what seems to be a ‘sim card’ of all things. You might be scratching your head while asking yourself: “My old card was just fine, why do I need a new one?”

$2 Billion—this staggering number was the reported loss due to ATM skimming around the world in 2015. That was 2 years ago. The latest report in the Philippines dates back to 2013, which shows losses as big as P400 Million. When ignored, this figure is only expected to rise with a projected 50% growth in the usage of debit cards in the Philippines by 2020, according to a report by globaly payments company Visa. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Read more: How to Protect Your Credit Card from Hackers

Cybercrime is increasing on a global scale. In this age of the Internet, social media, and online shopping, fraudsters are finding creative ways to steal your information. This brings us to the million dollar question: “How do you protect yourself against cybercrime?” Well that little chip on your new card has something big to do with it.

It’s called EMV.

What is EMV?


Upon closer look at the new card design, you’ll immediately notice a chip on the upper left portion. That chip will potentially save thousands, if not millions, of your hard-earned money.

EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard, and Visa” —the original developers of EMV. It is the new global standard for card security, acting as an added layer of protection for your transactions. Here in the Philippines, the BSP has mandated all banks to abide by the EMV standard as of January 2017.

How does it work?


“The magnetic stripe on traditional credit, debit and prepaid cards contains unchanging (static) data which can be easily copied by fraudsters via a simple and inexpensive skimming device. Unlike a magnetic stripe card, every time an EMV card is used for payment, the chip on the card generates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again,” says the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).

The BSP adds: “This feature, known as dynamic authentication, makes it difficult, if not virtually impossible (and costly) for fraudsters to counterfeit EMV cards.”

Look at it this way. If you’re using your new EMV card to pay for a fancy dinner, it will generate a unique code that will only be acquirable during your payment. It won’t be used again, forever closing that potential back door to fraudsters. This also means that your online transactions are more secure, giving you peace of mind the next time you shop at your favorite online store.

In terms of customer experience, EMV chip-compliant cards are read in what is called “card dipping” mechanism instead of the usual swiping of magnetic stripe cards. Because of the additional validation and data flows for the EMV chip-compliant card, the process may not be as quick as the swiping process. The infographic below shows the EMV chip card acceptance/validation process:

credit card security what you need to know about emv chip and pin signature transactions consumer iq

Image Source: http://www.transfirst.com/resources/infographics/emv-chip-card


What are the features of the EMV chip?


  1. Card authentication. The card is authenticated during transactions, protecting you against counterfeit cards.
  2. Card verification. Your card contains confidential information that is vital for thefts to prey upon. The EMV chip secures your card and data from unauthorized charges and attempted fraud.
  3. Transaction authorization. With EMV, all your card dealings are safeguarded online through a set of rules to authorize your information.

The transition to EMV


While EMV technology has been effective in minimizing counterfeit fraud and skimming, it is not a silver bullet or a one-time solution. It is, however, “far more secure than the old magnetic stripe technology which is defenseless against card skimming,” according to the BSP.

If you haven’t received your new EMV card, you should update your contact information with your issuer(s) to receive timely notifications when you’ll be issued a replacement chip-based card.

If you’re a client of Security Bank, please note the following in getting your EMV:


  1. Go to your branch of account and get your EMV by presenting one (1) valid ID.
  2. You don’t need to surrender your old card but you do need to dispose of your old magnetic stripe card once you receive your new EMV card.
  3. Activate your new EMV card immediately upon receipt to secure your account.

For more information about EMV, click here.

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