by Vince Liuzzi
Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer, DNB First
The stories vary. One might involve a dishonest waitress or employee who secretly writes down your credit card information. Another could be a crook who bumps into you with a skimming device that reads the magnetic strip on the debit card in your wallet. Or, there might be a data breach with a retailer.
However it happens, the result is always the same — your debit or credit card is compromised, resulting in the loss of money and something even more valuable – your sense of security.
Fortunately, there’s a new generation of card technology that’s coming to America to help prevent credit and debit card theft – EMVTM cards. Coined after the initial sponsors of the technology – Europay, MasterCard, and Visa – these “smart cards” are debit cards that contain microchips that make purchasing even more secure. When inserted in a special merchant EMV terminal at the point of purchase, these cards generate a unique one-time code. This code makes it impossible for thieves to duplicate your card.
Though this technology is relatively new in America, EMV cards have already been used in other countries around the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Many financial institutions have already or will soon replace cards with the new technology.
Here are some important things to know about EMV cards:
- The technology only works with special EMV card readers. If you have a debit card equipped with the EMV technology, the added level of protection, i.e., the unique one-time code, will only be generated at merchant locations equipped with EMV terminals.
- To use an EMV card at a point of sale, you must dip your card rather than swipe into the terminal slot. This allows the terminal to read the chip and may result in a slightly longer wait time.
- If a merchant does not have an EMV terminal, you can still swipe your card and use it as you normally would.
- If you’re a merchant and accept credit and debit card payments, switching to the new EMV technology will allow you to reduce your company’s liability.
In the coming months, we at DNB First will begin issuing new EMV cards to our cardholders. It’s just another small way that better, more secure banking will be in the cards for you.