Security Benefits of EMV for Consumers

Major banks and retailers are now pushing very hard to make EMV the new standard in the United States. Visa announced plans “to accelerate the migration to contact chip and contactless EMV chip technology in the U.S. The adoption of dual-interface chip technology will help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions.”

EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, refers to the chip-and-PIN credit card technology commonly used in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Credit cards that incorporate an embedded microprocessor chip are far more secure than any other form of credit card currently available, including the standard magnetic striped cards that are all too easy to skim at ATMs and point-of-sale terminals.

Gemalto reports, “As the U.S. continues its implementation of EMV chip cards, it’s lucky to be able to look to other countries that have adopted the technology for best practices, lessons learned and future benefits. As a Gemalto employee based in the U.S., I’ve been eagerly watching to see how our neighbor to the north, Canada, is benefiting from their EMV chip implementation, which started in earnest in 2007.”

“EMV” refers to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, three financial service corporations that collaborated to establish a global standard for secure, reliable, and consistent credit and debit card transactions. These cards are also called “chip and PIN” cards because they incorporate an embedded microprocessor chip and require a personal identification number for authentication.

JPMorgan Chase began issuing cards with embedded microprocessor chips last year in response to requests from cardholders who are frequent international travelers. And more major card issuers have followed suit by incorporating EMV technology. American Express has announced plans to release chip-based cards in the United States, as part of a “roadmap to advance EMV chip-based contact, contactless and mobile payment for all merchants, processors, and issuers.”Not surprisingly, as the rest of the world has migrated to EMV chip technology, some fraud has shifted over to the United States because of the ease with which fraudsters can duplicate magnetic stripe cards. As a result, the U.S. has carried a disproportionate percentage of global fraud losses—until now. Through our adoption of EMV chips, we’re anticipating a reduction in fraud loss like in Canada, the UK and the 80 other countries in various phases of migration.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures