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You have probably heard by now about the new technology at the checkout counter. Due to a large increase in counterfeit card fraud and continuing large-scale data breaches, the shift to use EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, by major card issuers aims to offer added security to reduce the cost associated with such fraud. EMV is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.
Unlike the old magnetic-stripe cards, which stored unchanging data, the new EMV cards will be equipped with a small square metallic computer chip. When consumers are shopping instead of swiping their card, they now will be asked to insert their card into a slot or reader at the terminal. This will take a few seconds then a beep ends the transaction. You then will be asked to sign or enter a PIN. Unlike the magnetic-stripe cards the chip generates for every transaction a unique code that can no longer be used. The code is only good for that transaction making it much harder to be stolen or used by someone else.
The BBB offers the following tips for the use of EMV cards.
Oct. 1 began a change in card fraud liability. Now businesses that do not have the new EMV reader will be liable for the cost of any purchases made with a counterfeit card instead of the card issuer.
There will be no change in the way you use your card online or by phone, so it is still very important to guard your card information closely and check statements regularly for any suspicious activity.
The switch to chip cards means you will be receiving new credit and debit cards. You will need to activate these cards, and you should familiarize yourself with them.
Don’t worry if you have not received your new card yet. Card issuers and banks have been sending out the new cards usually as existing cards expire. You can contact your card issuers by calling the number on the back of your current card to find out when your new card will arrive.
If you spot an error or unauthorized charge on any of your statements, call your financial institution immediately.
Don’t fall for scams by providing your personal information to anyone claiming to be from your bank or credit card company. Neither will call you to collect or verify your card numbers.
If you want to know more about this new technology, you can find some useful information by going to the websites for Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover; depending on which card you carry.
The shift to EMV cards should be seamless and not cause any disruptions for consumers. However, as with any new technology, scam artists will use the unknown as an opportunity to create confusion and panic in an effort to separate you from your money. Don’t let them!
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA Inc., serving 41 counties in Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River area.