Say Bye to Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards!

7 Feb

chip and pinOctober 2015, has chosen to say bye to the swipe-and-sign of a credit card transaction.

Beginning from the next year, in all major countries where people do insert card into a slot and enter a PIN number, now won’t signing those credit card receipts. The reason behind this major step is to stop the world’s credit card fraud and brought more and more attention to the recent large-scale theft of credit card data from retailers.

In the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in U.S., executives told the senators that once the country act on the new system- which includes credit cards embedded with a microchip containing security data- these kinds of hacking attacks will be much more difficult to pull off.

The changeover is coming through: both MasterCard and Visa, and both have set October, 2015 as an important deadline in the switch. But why has it taken this long, and how will the changeover work for card users and businesses?

Talk with MasterCard’s company expert Carolyn Balfany about new payment system, known as EMV that will end up swipe-and-sign and starting chip-and-PIN. Here’s what she had to say.

She said by answering the question “Why U.S. has taken so much longer to accept it?”, firstly there were higher fraud rates in some markets and they wanted to make this move to combat fraud. Secondly this system can operate in offline mode– the card and the terminal can authorize a transaction independent of communication with the bank’s systems.

By answering about the “liability shift” she said:

 Whenever card fraud happens, we need to determine who is liable or responsible for the costs. When the liability shift happens, what will change is that if there is an incidence of card fraud, whichever party has the lesser technology will bear the liability.

So if a merchant is still using the old system, they can still run a transaction with a swipe and a signature. But they will be liable for any fraudulent transactions if the customer has a chip card. And the same goes the other way – if the merchant has a new terminal, but the bank hasn’t issued a chip and PIN card to the customer, the bank would be liable. This way, we’re not shifting fraud around within the system; we’re driving fraud out of the system.

“How will it actually happen?” while answering she said still lot of work on this that has already happened. For merchants, the terminals and equipments are available to accept the new cards. Banks already issued cards with the chip to customers who travel abroad. Mostly consumers know how to use it. Overall some media coverage and awareness is required to explaining the system and all the benefits, and obviously how to use it.

While answering our last question about benefits other than security, she said:

With keep in mind that it is the establishment of technological platform for the next generation of payments and not only limited to chip and PIN cards, it also includes things like contactless payments at same level of security. Now account can be resident in multiple places with tag affixed to your phone or on your key ring.

This article is originally posted on The Wall Street Journal.

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