EMV Chip-cards: What You Should Know


The new chip cards have been in the news recently as merchants and consumers prepare for today’s “liability shift” deadline on October 1. Understanding what this change means for you is important. Family Trust will begin issuing chip-enabled credit cards this month, and EMV debit cards will be available in early 2016.

In the meantime, you are still protected from fraudulent transactions with Visa’s Zero Liability.

Here are some things you should know:

What is the Liability Shift?

The Liability shift goes into effect today, October 1 and is between the merchants and the financial institutions. It does not have affect consumers. Merchants that have not upgraded to EMV card readers will be liable for fraudulent transactions if the card used is chip-enabled. Likewise, if a card is not chip-enable and is used at a merchant who does accept chip-enabled cards, the financial institution is liable.

When will I get my EMV Credit Card?

Family Trust will begin issuing chip-enabled credit cards in October 2015. If you are an existing card holder, your chip card(s) will arrive before your current cards are due to expire. If you would like to upgrade your card(s) before then, please contact us at 803-367-4100 or stop by any branch and we’ll be happy to assist you. There is a fee to reorder cards before the expiration date.

How will EMV help?

After all of the point of sale (POS) system breaches last year like at Home Depot, Bebe, and Chick-fil-A, card issuers are beginning to send out new cards with EMV chip technology. EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa who are the three companies that developed the chip verification standard.

This technology has greatly reduced card-present fraud in Europe by preventing criminals from creating duplicate credit cards from stolen breach data. Every time a payment card is used for a transaction, the EMV chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again.

Therefore, if a hacker were to steal the chip and magnetic strip information from a POS device, it would be useless “because the stolen transaction number created in that instance wouldn’t be usable again and the card would just get denied,” said Dave Witts, president of U.S. payment systems for CreditCall.

The down side of the chip technology is that it does little to prevent online fraud or device fraud, such as ApplePay and GooglePay. Therefore it is wise to remain diligent in monitoring your transaction statements to identify any fraudulent or suspicious charges.

The magnetic strip will not disappear from the new cards to ensure they can still be widely used. Most payment terminals will begin to accept both types of cards in the very near future, if they don’t already. The new card is also widely used in most other countries as the U.S is the last major market to adopt the EMV chip. So there should be no problems with using the new card while you are on travel.

Visit Frequently Asked Questions FAQs for more information. Still got questions on EMV, comment below and we’ll reply.