Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology -

EMV IS THE ACRO­NYM for Euro­pay, MasterCard and Visa – the three credit card com­pa­nies came to­gether in the late Nineties to find a way to re­place old-style cards that use a mag­netic strip to store in­for­ma­tion. The prob­lem was that those cards could be copied eas­ily, al­low­ing crim­i­nals to make du­pli­cates and buy goods or ob­tain cash. Be­cause card com­pa­nies are li­able for such fraud, they ob­vi­ously have an in­ter­est in find­ing ways to stop it.

The so­lu­tion was to move from a mag­netic strip to a chip card. The card com­pa­nies set Jan­uary 2005 as the date for banks to move to the new sys­tem, af­ter which any fraud per­pe­trated on a card us­ing a mag­netic strip rather than a chip would be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the is­su­ing bank rather than the card com­pany.

All chip card trans­ac­tions will have to be au­tho­rised with a PIN code, as when cur­rently with­draw­ing money from an ATM or us­ing a debit card. If a card is stolen it will be im­pos­si­ble to buy some­thing or draw money from an ATM with­out a PIN num­ber. Debit cards will also move to the EMV sys­tem, but that will be a smaller adjustment as they’ve al­ways re­quired a PIN code.

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