To understand why EMV credit cards—or “chip and PIN” cards—are safer, first we must understand standard magnetic stripe cards. The familiar magnetic stripe, which can be seen on all credit cards carried in the United States, has been around for more than four decades.
The security technology behind the magnetic stripe has been compromised, since the availability of card reading and writing tools makes it easy to decipher the data stored on the magnetic stripe. Criminals use these tools to create skimming devices and other hacking methods.
EMV, on the other hand, is a relatively new technology with plenty of built-in encryption. According to the Smartcard Alliance, “[EMV] transactions require an authentic card validated either online by the issuer using a dynamic cryptogram or offline with the terminal using Static Data Authentication (SDA), Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) or Combined DDA with application cryptogram generation (CDA). EMV transactions also create unique transaction data, so that any captured data cannot be used to execute new transactions.”
In simple terms, the data is thoroughly scrambled.
The cardholder verification process is another factor enhancing EMV card security, by ensuring that the person attempting to make the transaction is, in fact, the legal cardholder. EMV supports four cardholder verification methods: offline PIN, online PIN, signature, or no cardholder verification. With a regular magstripe credit card, the only possible verification option is to check the ID of the person presenting the card, which cashiers only sometimes do, and may even create a false sense of security. The primary verification method for online purchases is to request the CVV or credit verification value, which is visibly printed right on the card itself.
So get ready, because “chip and PIN” is coming, and it’s more secure than the cards in your wallet, not to mention the most ubiquitous card outside the United States.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- What Differentiates EMV Cards?
In the United States, our credit and debit cards still rely on outdated magnetic stripe technology. The magnetic stripe is the black or brown band on the back of your credit or debit card. The stripe stores data, such as your account number, via tiny, iron-based magnetic particles. When you swipe your card through a
- Banks Should Promote EMV
The old magnetic stripe technology currently used in credit and debit cards in the United States is inexpensive and readily available, making our cards highly vulnerable to fraud. It’s understandable then that credit and debit card fraud is Americans’ primary fear, with 68% of those surveyed describing themselves as extremely or very concerned about the
- Chip and PIN, will It save Us?
Many Americans, says a recent survey by Gallup, worry about a data breach connected to the use of their credit cards. Interestingly, many people use a credit card for everything under the sun: even just a soda and bag of chips from the convenience mart. The more you use a credit card, the more likely
- How EMV Impacts International Travel
In the United States, credit and debit cards rely on magnetic stripe technology. The magnetic stripe is the black, brown, gold, or silver band on the back of your credit or debit card. Tiny, iron-based magnetic particles in this band store your account number. When the card is swiped through a “reader,” the data stored
- What is Contactless Technology?
“Contactless” refers to technology embedded in a personal device — typically a mobile phone, key fob, credit card, or access card — that transmits your data to another device from a distance of a few inches in order to complete a transaction. Transactions involving data transfer have traditionally involved plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.