Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV)

For the past year, the issue on ATM card fraud and ATM Card Skimming have been at the forefront of the news. Foreign and local ATM fraudsters were discovered to cooperated to defraud cardholders of millions of pesos. Several cardholders appeared on television complaining of an empty bank account after being victimized by these criminals. This issue roused the Banco Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Visa and MasterCard into requiring that EMV or the Europay MasterCard and VISA (EMV) security standard be implemented.

EMV Card

EMV is a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC or "chip cards"). The EMV standard defines the interface of the physical, electrical, data and application levels between IC cards and IC card processing devices.

EMV chip cards primarily improve security against fraud. With the use of a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and cryptographic algorithms such as Triple DES, it provides authentication of the card to the processing terminal and the user's host system.

The EMV chip card has more advantages than a magnetic stripe card, which is vulnerable to fraud through skimming. When a card is swiped through a magnetic stripe reader, it records the information needed to use the card for fraudulent purposes. The data stolen from the card can be written on another magnetic stripe which then serves as a duplicate to the cardholder's card. In many cases, the duplicate card is used in distant locations, even other countries.

What are the advantages of an EMV ATM Card?

  1. The chip-based card can store more information than the conventional magnetic stripe card.
  2. This enhanced capacity allows for a transaction-unique digital signature in the card - which is used to encrypt information on the chip.
  3. Information on the card cannot be easily skimmed because of this encryption.
  4. Withdrawal behavior may be included in transaction tracking mitigating risk of card/PIN compromise.

This enhanced cardholder verification method - together with the transaction-unique digital signature makes the chip-based card more secure than the regular magnetic stripe card - thereby protecting cardholders, issuers and merchants from fraud.

In short, by implementing the EMV standard, we lessen the risk of fraud to cardholders.