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EMV Cards- What’s the Big Deal?

By now everyone has heard of the new EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) or the chip card as it is more widely known. The chip card has been used overseas for years but just recently has the United States started making the shift to the more secure method of card payment. explored a couple of commonly asked questions about the new cards and their impact to consumers.

How are EMV cards more secure than traditional cards?

The chip is the simple answer. Unlike a magnetic stripe which carries the same data for every transaction, the chip card assigns a unique transaction code every time you use your card. This makes it so counterfeiters are not able to duplicate the card based on information from a single transaction.

If fraud happens, who is liable?

There was an October 2015 deadline for retailers (outside of gas stations and ATMs) to make the transition to having a chip card reader. If you experience fraud because of a breach at a store because it did not have a chip reader, the store would be liable for the costs since they are not complying with the new technology. Gas stations and ATMs still have a little time to comply with the new regulations so the old liability rules would apply.

How will the EMV card work when I travel abroad?

Since most European countries have already been using the chip cards for years American’s travelling abroad often times had to find another way to pay since retailers would not support a swipe card. Now European retailers are much more likely to accept a chip card. The difficulty now is that American EMV cards support both chip and pin technology as well as chip and signature technology. European countries typically have the chip and pin. This does not mean they won’t accept a card with chip and signature cards but you might encounter some who will not be able to process the card.

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