E-money or plastic money as we commonly call it, makes life easier for most of us. The need for carrying money has become considerably reduced. This has lulled us into a false sense of security making us feel safe from pickpockets. But the advent of credit cards brought with it its own set of problems which resulted in rampant credit card thefts and its fraudulent use.
What are EMV cards ?
These thefts and frauds called for stringent measures on the part of the financial institutions and other credit card companies, thus leading to the introduction of EMV chip enabled credit cards. These cards also known as chip cards, smart cards or even IC cards have their data stored in integrated chips as opposed to the magnetic strips of the other cards. For the sake of convenience however, even EMV cards carry a magnetic strip. These cards thus can be read both by
- Inserting it into emv credit card terminal or
- With the help of RFID or radio frequency identification, a technology which can read cards without coming in contact with them.
Benefits of the EMV Cards
EMV cards were introduced primarily to
- Improve its security thereby protecting the user against possible theft by
- Using a PIN or cryptographic algorithm to authenticate it both on the emv credit card terminal and the cars issuer’s system,
- Making it impossible to clone the EMV credit card. Only its magnetic strip could be copied thereby making it impossible for the copied card to be used in PIN terminals,
- By using PIN pads which are wireless, merchant personnel could bring the PIN pad to the customer. Thus the EMV credit card is always within the cardholder’s sight thereby reducing chances of clandestine cloning.
- Enable finer control over approval of transactions done offline by allowing multiple applications like debit card, credit card or even an e-purse on the same EMV card.
- Reduce the time taken to process a credit card payment
- Increase the confidence of merchants by assuring them of the security and authenticity of the card and the transaction. This is of consequence since with the introduction of the EMV credit cards; the liability in cases of fraudulent swipes has now shifted over to the merchants.
In spite of its benefits, this card is not an absolute guarantee against credit card fraud. But it is definitely a huge step in that direction.