In case you have received a reminder from your bank asking you to replace your stripe-only card with an EMV chip card and you have no idea why this change is being implemented, then you are at the right place.
As per recent instructions received from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), it has become mandatory for banks to replace the existing stripe-only debit and credit cards with the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip cards latest by 31 December 2018. This holds true for all domestic and international cards even if their validity extends beyond 31 Dec 2018. In case you are worried about the extra charges for replacing your existing cards, then be rest assured that the banks are replacing the cards absolutely FREE of cost!!
So, then why replace your stripe-only cards with the EMV chip cards?
Enhanced Security Level
The EMV cards or the Chip & PIN cards as they are usually called, use a higher level of storage technology and high standards of data encryption as compared to the magnetic stripe-only cards. For those of you who frequently use their stripe-only debit/credit cards for making transactions at stores, restaurants, etc., would relate to the fact that these cards require a simple swipe at the point of sale (PoS) device in order to complete a transaction.
A chip-based debit/credit card on the other hand, requires you to enter the PIN in order to complete the transaction. This provides your card with an extra level of security for safeguarding your digital transaction. These chip-based cards are also effective for mitigating fraudulent PoS transactions, by
mandating a second level of authentication in the form of PIN before completing any PoS transaction.
While the EMV chip cards also have a magnetic stripe, what makes them secure is the fact that sensitive customer data is encrypted on the chip. This gives fraudsters a hard time to access critical customer information.
Prevent Card Cloning
Given the increased incidences of card cloning on a global level, the initiative to shift to only chip-based cards is the need of the hour. Card Cloning usually stems from magnetic stripe-only cards that contain static information which can easily be accessed, once the card is used at some ATM that already has a cloning device installed.
An EMV chip-based card on the other hand contains dynamic information, which makes it difficult to clone information. The big question though remains to be, “Will this eliminate the risk of card skimming and cloning completely?”
Well, the frank answer to this question is that while the scenario of physical card cloning can be eliminated to a great extent with the EMV Chip & PIN cards, the same cannot be held true when it comes to online transactions, as the risk of fraud will continue to exist.
So, here are few simple tips to help you protect your cards from cloning or skimming when you swipe at the PoS:
- As far as possible, try using the EMV chip-based cards instead of magnetic stripe cards for making transactions at PoS since, the EMV cards are safer to use.
- Take care that the PoS machine is not connected to a cloning or skimming device or any other device that may seem suspicious to you.
- If possible, try to feel underneath the pin pad for an additional slot to insert a card or chip, especially if you are swiping at a new store.
- Keep a check on your account balance for fraudulent charges. In case of any suspicious activity, immediately report to your bank requesting them to block your card.