Bank of America will be integrating EMV technology into debit cards to increase security, making it the first U.S. bank to do so. This rollout will include all new and reissued consumer and business debit cards.
Starting in October, cards issued to new customers will include EMV chips. Current customers will receive the new cards when their old card expires or needs to be replaced. A majority of the credit cards in the Bank of America’s portfolio have already been outfitted with this technology.
Over the last year the industry has begun to speed up the adaption of the new security technology in payment cards after breaches at major retail outlets like Target and Home Depot. “The new chip-enabled debit cards will improve security of customers’ transactions when traveling abroad and at home as more U.S. merchants adopt chip technology,” said a representative from Bank of America.
The new technology
With EMV technology a chip is embedded into the card. It holds the same data that magnetic strips on credit cards do, but it also has a PIN number. Once the number is entered into the terminal at the point of sale, the transaction can be completed.
The EMV chip is outfitted with a microprocessor, which encrypts the information from the transaction. With each transaction the data is altered making it harder for hackers to access the cardholder’s information or to counterfeit the card. Countries in Europe have already integrated the technology into their payment systems, and this changeover is expected to make using credit and debit cards in those countries easier and safer for Americans .
Merchants on board
Merchants will be installing chip enabled terminals over the next year. With cards that use a magnetic strip people swipe their cards, with the new terminals they will insert the card, and enter a PIN number. The new terminals will also accept magnetic strips so people with the old cards can still make payments.
Bank of America began outfitting EMV technology into its credit cards in 2012, and expects to have it completed by late 2015.