The ins and outs of EMV cards

Over the last year or so, you've probably noticed that credit and debit cards now come with an obscure looking chip, usually located on the front of the card.

This chip isn't simply for show. In fact, it represents an evolution in the security of card technology. Chip cards, also sometimes referred to as EMV cards, greatly increase the security of your cards no matter where you are.

Here is an overview as to why EMV cards offer greater protection and what it means for you.

Why?

Simply put, the decision to include microchips in every card is a security one.

Previously, thieves would utilize skimming technology to steal information stored on the black magnetic strip. That method no longer applies because all of the information is now stored on the microchip which can't be read from a skimming device that requires the user to swipe his or her card.

With another layer of security, you're able to shop with a relaxed ease of mind no matter where you are.

EMV cardEMV cards provide many security benefits.

How?

The makers of the EMV card have also introduced a new form of payment authorization. With old cards, you would simply swipe and the card reader would read the magnetic strip, ensure you had the available funds and then approve the transaction.

With the chip, unique transaction codes are generated in real-time every time you use your card. Transaction codes will also never be used again, which adds yet another layer of security.

If a number cannot be generated, the transaction will not be authorized. This security protocol makes it much more difficult for criminals to counterfeit cards and steal money from your checking account as a result.

Unique transaction codes also go a long way toward protecting you in the event there is a data breach. Because of the new method, criminals essentially have microchip's data, which is basically useless if the goal is to create a fake card. Don't underestimate this added layer of security.

EMV cards are meant to deter fraud, and a recent Visa infographic highlighted the effectiveness of the technology. According to the company, counterfeit fraud dollars declined 47 percent in May 2016 when compared to May 2015.

What else has changed?

The biggest difference you'll notice, if you haven't already, is the way you pay. Instead of swiping, most merchants now have terminals where you insert your credit or debit card at the bottom.

You then go through the normal process by selecting credit and providing a signature if necessary. And that's it. As terminals continue to improve, the payment process will only continue to get faster.

EMV cards are now the standard in just about every credit and debit card. The added security of the microchips truly adds another security layer that was not present with old card technology.

For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.

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