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National Restaurant Association - Five things to know about chip cards (EMV)

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Five things to know about chip cards (EMV)

The days of credit and debit cards with magnetic stripes across the back are not the future. The United States is moving toward EMV chip cards. The media has been abuzz recently with references to this important change. So what do cardholders need to know? Here are some quick answers to top consumer questions.

1.  The basics – what are chip cards?

EMV chip cards have computer chips embedded in them. They are widely used in Europe and Asia and are beginning to be adopted in the U.S. Many of us are likely to have chip cards in our hands in 2015.

2.  Why chip cards?

Chip cards better protect your account information from fraud. The magnetic-striped credit and debit cards you are accustomed to contain “static” data, or payment data that does not change. The data stored in the magnetic stripes includes your 16-digit card account number, expiration date and 3-digit security code (CVC) like the one found on the back of your card.

Chip cards contain the same data and more. Each purchase or transaction that you make generates “dynamic” or unique data that is encoded in a safe mode.

EMV helps protect you even if your card or your card data is lost or stolen. 

3.  Will this change the way I pay for things?

A little bit. Rather than swiping your card, you may soon insert it into or tap it against a card reader so the chip on your card and the reader can “talk” and establish a secure connection.

4.  Why isn’t the U.S. currently using chip card technology?

Historically, countries with higher fraud rates switched to chip cards earlier than countries with lower fraud rates.

5. What will I see as a consumer?

First, you will see new card readers or payment terminals in your favorite stores and restaurants. Many of the new readers are already in place, especially if the business caters to travelers from outside the U.S. Second, your bank or credit union will send you a new chip card. 

MasterCard, www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. MasterCard operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.

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