By Mary Hughes
The U.S. is the last developed country to migrate from magnetic-stripe (“mag-stripe”) cards to EMV¹ or chip cards. This migration will affect credit, debit and prepaid cards issued by U.S. financial institutions.
The biggest benefit of chip card technology is the potential reduction in card fraud due to counterfeit and lost and stolen cards for card-present transactions (where the card is physically present at the point-of-sale). Chip card transactions offer enhanced functionality in card authentication, cardholder verification, and transaction authorization, thus providing better security than magnetic-stripe cards. A chip card has an embedded microprocessor chip (it looks like a small, metallic square on the front of the card) that stores information securely and performs cryptographic processing during the payment transaction.
When a financial institution issues a chip card, the chip is encoded with security credentials that are extremely difficult to counterfeit. Plus, chip cards create dynamic data that are unique for each transaction and cannot be used again. Because of these security features, countries that have implemented chip cards have seen a reduction in card-present fraud rates. (more…)