Chip Cards

What is a chip card or a smart card?
Chip cards are payment cards carrying an embedded microchip. The computing power of the chip means that smart cards can offer new payment options and services, additional levels of security, and more convenience and choice.

How do they make payments more secure?
Chip cards, when used in conjunction with a personal identification number (PIN), are a solution to counterfeit and lost and stolen card fraud. The chip prevents the card from being counterfeited and the PIN uniquely identifies the owner of the card and prevents it from being used by someone else if lost or stolen. When a chip card is used at the point of sale, the transaction message sent by the chip card to authorise the transaction does not contain any data that can be used to counterfeit a chip or conduct an unauthorised chip transaction reusing the data from a previous transaction.

What is EMV?
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa, the three Organisations that developed and established EMV as the global standard for chip-based credit and debit transactions. The EMV standard helps to maximise security and global interoperability so that Visa cards can continue to be accepted around the world.

What other benefits do chip cards offer?
In addition to protecting against fraud, chip cards help to consolidate your wallet through the ability to combine multiple functions on one card, such as reward programs, discounts and special offers.

Overseas experience
Chip card technology is already being used widely in Europe and Asia and has proven to be extremely effective in reducing fraud. The UK’s Centre for Retail Research conducted a major survey of retailers and found that 81 percent experienced a reduction in fraud and 62 percent found that transaction times were quicker*. As many countries migrate to chip and PIN technology, cardholders travelling overseas should be aware that if their card has been configured as a PIN preferring card by their issuer, they may need to use that PIN to verify their chip card transactions.

* Chip and PIN in Europe, survey commissioned by Visa Europe, 2008.