Chips vs. Strips

posted 6/5/2015 in General

Security of debit card and credit card data has been a hot topic in the last couple of years. During that time, large companies like JP Morgan & Chase, Home Depot and others have experienced data breaches in which card data has been stolen.

One solution that has been implemented worldwide and is finally gaining steam in the United States is moving to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) debit and credit cards. These cards use enhanced technology placed in a chip instead of a magnetic strip to secure your transactions.

The goal for the United States is to have most Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit and debit cards be EMV cards by the end of October of this year. After that time, banks issuing non-EMV cards will be held liable for incurred fraudulent charges.

But what else do you need to know about EMV cards? Here are a few frequently asked questions surrounding EMV cards.

Common Questions About EMV Cards

  1. How are EMV cards more secure than cards with a magnetic strip? Every time you use an EMV card, the chip creates a unique code for that transaction that can’t be used again. However, if someone copies the strip on your debit card, they could use that over and over to make fraudulent purchases.

  2. How do I use an EMV card if I can’t swipe it? Instead of a swipe, you simply dip. You simply insert your card into a terminal slot and wait for it to process. It will take a little more time than swiping.

  3. Will I still have to enter a pin or sign? Yes, depending on which verification method is tied to your card.

  4. Why has it taken the U.S. so long to switch to EMV cards? The United States is a huge market with dozens upon dozens of credit card companies and providers. It takes an enormous amount of time, effort and money to get all card issuers switched over.

  5. Are there different names for EMV cards? Yes, EMV cards go by many names, including: smart card, chip card, smart-chip card, chip-enabled smart card and EMV smart card.

The hope is that moving to EMV cards will provide greater protection for your financial information. Be sure to stay tuned for information specific to Lincoln Savings Bank and EMV credit and debit cards.

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC 

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