POMEROY — EMVs, or chip cards (credit cards with chip technology), are the future.
That was the message delivered by Jack Blevins, from Peoples Bank’s Merchant Services, at Tuesday’s Business Minded Luncheon at Wild Horse Cafe.
EMV stands for Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa. Smart chip technology became standard in Europe in the 1990s.
“We (the United States) are way behind,” he said.
But on Oct. 1, most EMV options will be protected from financial liability originating from counterfeit, stolen or lost card-present transactions. EMV cards come with an embedded micoprocessor that will provide better card authentication and transaction authority, Blevins said. The chip on the EMV card will interact with the merchant’s point-of-sale device, which is very difficult to duplicate.
Each card has a unique cryptogram (secret code) for every transaction. This code is a randomly generated number provided by a point-of-sale terminal as soon as the amount is keyed in by the cashier. The use of this card will trigger verification by the cardholder either through a chip or PIN number.
“It’s going to cut fraud by almost 90 percent,” he said. “The chip means you’re going to have control of your card.”
However, Blevins added that this is not a universal mandate, and that not all banks will opt to do the EMV option. He said that if anyone receives a call saying that EMV cards are mandatory, the caller is incorrect.
Blevins also spoke about credit card safety with or without a chip. For example, he talked about skimmers, which are machines that can copy credit card information. He explained that this is a reason why there are stickers on gas station pumps; if the sticker is tampered with, there may be a skimmer within the pump machine.
“That is the benefit to having a chip with constantly changing numbers,” he said.
He also said because of charges it’s better to use a credit card when staying at a hotel or purchasing a plane ticket.
Blevins ended his talk by reiterating his support for EMV cards.
‘I would like to see it mandated because it’s a great thing, but you can’t force banks to do it,” he said. “It’s up to the merchant and banks to come on board.”
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.