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EMV Chip Information

A new, safer, and more secure payment method is coming soon! With identity theft on the rise and the recent breach of data from high profile stores such as Target® and Home Depot®, the new weapon to keep your credit card information secure is the EMV chip. 

What is an EMV chip?

An EMV chip is a microchip that is located in the credit or debit card. Much like the magnetic strip that is already on credit cards, the new cards will now have a microchip for transmitting data. The EMV chip was named after its developers  Europay®, MasterCard®, and Visa® in an effort to make payments more secure.

Why are credit card companies switching to EMV cards?

The government shifted all of the liability of fraudulent charges to the card issuers on October 1, 2015. With this switch, the EMV chip provides an immensely more secure way to purchase. Identity theft and fraud have more than doubled in the past seven years, and credit card companies and the government are trying to combat these offenses with newer, more secure technology. Billions of dollars are lost each year due to identity theft and fraud. With this new technology, identity thieves will no longer be able to easily steal and duplicate credit card information the same way they have been for years.

How do I use an EMV card?

As of right now, only a few select companies have installed and turned on their EMV card reading technology at checkout aisles. One of the major, nationwide companies that has turned on its card readers is Wal-Mart®. Much like a magnetic strip card reader, when a customer needs to use their card to pay for items, the customer does so at the point of purchase machine. Instead of swiping the card, the customer will now insert the card so the reader can receive the data from the microchip. After the card has been inserted, it is left in the card reader until the screen says that the purchase has been approved. After approval, the customer takes their card out of the card reader. While this process may be a bit longer than the magnetic strip swipe, it is leaps and bound more secure. 

What makes an EMV chip better than a traditional magnetic strip?

A traditional magnetic strip holds one set of data that is used over and over every time it used to make a purchase. Anyone who gets that data can duplicate it as many times as they want and continue using that data because the data doesn’t change. With the EMV chip, every time an EMV card is used to purchase an item, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. This means that if a hacker did get a user’s card information and tried to use it, the fraudulent card that they made would be declined and their card would be worthless.

When will I get an EMV chip card?

Cardholders can expect to have their traditional magnetic strip cards switched out within the next year. With the liability shift, vendors are scrambling to get their EMV card readers installed and tested. Card issuers are excited about the new technology and are trying to adopt the new technology as fast as they can. By the end of this year, all new Winona National Bank debit cards will have the EMV chip technology.