EMV Chip Cards

Do you have a WCTFCU Visa Credit Card and/or Visa Debit Card? If you do, during 2016 you will receive a free replacement for your current magnetic stripe card(s). This replacement card will be an "EMV chip card." Your new EMV card(s) will still contain the magnetic stripe. Most EMV chip cards still have a magnetic stripe. New technology makes it very difficult to clone an EMV chip - magnetic stripe card. On an EMV card, the magnetic stripe contains additional data that identifies the card as an EMV Smart Card. If someone tries to use a clone card (*see below) of an EMV chip card, the transaction will likely be flagged.

What is an EMV Chip Card? EMV (Europay, MasterCard®, Visa) chip cards, also called "Smart Cards," have an embedded integrated circuit chip (ICC). EMV chip technology is the fraud-reducing technology built into cards through this smart (ICC) chip. Each time an EMV chip card is used, each unique transaction is uniquely encoded. Even if that transaction's data is intercepted, it cannot be used to make an additional or new transaction.

The Global Standard to Reduce Fraud, EMV cards have been the standard in other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia, for a very long time. Your Smart Cards will make your overseas travel transactions easier. Americans have had trouble for years when traveling abroad with magnetic-stripe cards. As of October 1, 2015, the major credit card companies established EMV as the standard U.S. card technology. The U.S. delayed transition to EMV due to the technology's expense to issuers for Smart Card production and the expense to merchants for the new terminals. Today, EMV is a set of global standards for Smart Cards, ensuring that EMV credit cards and payment terminals around the world work together successfully.

Why the Global Switch to EMV? Skimming and liability. *You've likely heard of "credit-card skimming." You give your credit card to the waiter to process your check. Before returning with your receipt, he swipes your card on a "skimming device," capturing your account information. With his information, the thief creates a "clone card" and makes purchases with it. Skimming is counterfeit fraud.

EMV Fraud Liability Shift As of October 1, 2015, any merchant that has not implemented the EMV system may be liable for fraudulent transactions resulting from a fraudulent magnetic-stripe payment processed by their business. In the past, credit card companies bore the responsibility for fraudulent transactions. EMV shifts the liability for counterfeit card fraud losses to merchants and their acquirers, unless both parties have implemented EMV.

What EMV Cards Won't Fix EMV Smart Cards will not eliminate online fraud. Security experts predict that, as cloning stops working, incidence of online fraud will increase. Do not assume a false sense of security after your credit cards go EMV. You will still need to diligently monitor your credit card account(s) transactions. That is the best way to detect fraud.