Unlike popular belief, EMV is not a specific type or functional group of Credit Cards or Debit Cards. The main aim of EMV is to act as a new standard for card-based payments, the full-form of the same being Europay, MasterCard and Visa. These three companies were the first to bring about a major change in the overall level of security of debit and credit card payment in general. In this case, EMV signifies another level of upgrade to the existing layers of security in credit and debit card usage, making the new credit cards much more secure than the older ones. The EMV standard, which is intended to be a global standard in the near future, uses a chip that stores the card information, thereby being the focal technology that provides increased payment security.
The unique aspect of these chips is that they are able to create unique authorization codes for each purchase made by a user by interacting with the merchant’s card reader. The magnetic strips that existed on the older credit cards store data which is unchangeable, unlike the dynamic nature of the chip. Hence, whoever is able to access the data stored on the magnetic strips would be able to completely take control of the user’s credit card payment power. These counterfeiters and hackers can also avail all the credit card offers and benefits that the original user was privy to. However, the golden chip embedded into EMV credit cards can create unique transaction codes, thereby making counterfeiting and hacking considerably difficult.
One of the most novel features associated with the EMV Credit and Debit Cards is the ability of contactless card reading. Instead of having to swipe or dip the card to in order to complete the transaction, an EMV credit card owner can tap the chip against a terminal scanner that instantly picks up the transaction data. Moreover, the EMV cards which have been deployed in the first phase of the implementation of this new security standard comes with both magnetic strips as well as the chip. This can help merchants adjust to the new chip technology while allowing the users to resort to both contact and contactless card payments while availing the benefits of increased security.
The only catch is that payment through EMV chip enabled credit cards takes a bit longer than usual credit or debit card payments, amounting to approximately 6 seconds. However, this is a small price to pay for the high level of security that EMV credit card users would enjoy during each transaction. Another aspect of consideration is that most merchants have still not updated their credit card readers to enable contactless transactions, which means that you might have to use the magnetic strips for a while more even if you are an EMV credit card holder.
The RBI has announced specific notifications with regards to the issuance of EMV chip cards in India. Firstly, customers have the freedom and the right to specifically ask for EMV chip credit cards when they apply for credit cards online through their respective banks. In this case, the bank will have to issue these cards even if they have an existing stock of magnetic strip-enabled cards with them. At the same time, there are some specific banks which have been granted the permission to issue pre-paid EMV chip cards to customers(source: https://rbi.org.in/scripts/Bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=2491). Moreover, all cards which have been issued with regards to international usage have been made EMV-chip mandatory. Lastly, the RBI has also given banks in India a deadline of December 31, 2018 to completely replace existing cards with those equipped with EMV chips.
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