Better Guard Against In-Store Fraud with EMV Technology


The EMV transition is officially in effect, marking the biggest change to credit cards in decades.

The transition could take years. But businesses and shoppers that have migrated will likely see that big change equating to better security immediately.

“Upgrading to chip cards and chip-enabled terminals addresses counterfeit fraud, which currently has the biggest negative impact on the U.S. economy,” says Carolyn Balfany, group head of U.S. product delivery for MasterCard Worldwide.

When you use a chip-equipped credit card, you now have the security of knowing that each transaction you make has its own unique information trail that becomes useless when duplicated. That is not the case with magnetic stripe cards, which is a prime reason why they are considered less secure.

“Merchants and consumers continue to be protected with zero liability for this type of fraud,” Stephanie Ericksen, vice president of Risk Products for Visa, says.


Chip and PIN EMV cards may take a while to come to the United States.

What about chip and PIN?

While the EMV chip card that’s likely in your wallet offers a higher level of security than the magstripe variety, there’s something even more secure in other countries: Chip and PIN.

That’s because that card in your wallet in the United States is probably a “chip and signature” card. “Chip and PIN” cards, on the other hand, offer even a higher level of security — specifically in cases where a card is lost or stolen.

In much of Europe, the chip and PIN card — which requires a four-digit personal number to complete a transaction — is customary. In the United States, only a signature is customary … at least for now.

“Cyber criminals understand now that stealing from chip and PIN is harder,” says Brian Dodge, Retail Industry Leaders Association spokesperson. “The U.S. is still less secure than the rest of the world.”

Currently, most U.S. banks do not offer a PIN option, which is why Avivah Litan, vice president and analyst at Gartner Research, says mobile payments adoption could improve.

“I think this is going to spur an adoption of mobile payments,” she says. “They’re much more convenient.”

Credit card companies and banks have maintained that the counterfeit fraud prevented by the chip is much more prevalent than the threat posed by a missing card. They also cited the potential for a “steeper learning curve” if Americans are bombarded with too many changes too soon.

Prepare for the future, now

Nonetheless, chip and signature EMV transactions still offer a significant extra layer of security than magstripe cards.

NCR Silver is equipped to handle both signature and PIN transactions. Click here for more information on NCR Silver EMV technology.

Related post: Most Shoppers Aren’t Chip Equipped 

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