The acronym “EMV” stands for Europay, MasterCard and VISA, which is a global standard for integrated circuit cards. Credit cards possessing this technology can be recognized by the gold-toned chip found on the front. While America currently still favors credit and debit cards with the familiar magnetic “swipe” strip on the back, Europe as well as others have moved onto using “chip and PIN” cards. With well over one billion commercial and consumer chip card users outside the U. S., chip cards are the dominant technology worldwide. This means that travelers from the United States may encounter problems using their credit cards while going abroad.
Certain banks have decided to begin easing some of their American cardholders into the EMV payment system, such as Wells Fargo, Chase and U.S. Bank. Citigroup has just announced their launch of the Corporate Chip and PIN card, a compliant smart card designed especially for U.S. corporate cardholders who often travel overseas.
“Many of our clients are leading multinational organizations with cardholders that travel extensively. They require a payment product that can meet their needs wherever their business takes them and Citi is at the forefront of bringing this product innovation to our commercial card clients,” said Citi’s Julie Monaco, head of North America Global Transaction Services, in a press release.
The first EMV credit card released in America was the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, an international credit card recently made available to more affluent cardholders. Citi’s business cards will be next, although it will take a couple of years for EMV chip technology to reach the credit cards of the average American consumer.
According to Visa, EMV chip technology makes mobile payment data less attractive for would-be thieves, and is “an important security layer and a critical step” toward smartphone credit card security, so reports an article on mobiledia.com.
Someday in the future, it will no longer be necessary for a customer to sign a credit card receipt to verify a purchase if a merchant’s machine can read the chip, Visa boldly predicts.
“There is no security silver bullet. But, for smartcards and smartphones, using EMV adds a strong layer for payment transaction security as well as online banking, access to medical records and more,” said George Peabody, director at Emerging Technologies Advisory Service, to mobiledia.com. “This is a welcome step toward lowering fraud at the point of sale and online. It’s time.”