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Insert the Chip or Swipe the Strip?

Posted on February 13, 2017 at 10:39 AM by State Savings Bank

By now, you’ve probably heard of the term EMV Chip Card and you may even have one or more in your wallet. But do you understand how a chip card differs from a regular debit or credit card and why it’s such a big deal?

What is EMV Anyway?

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa and is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips. These chips produce a one-time code for each transaction — data that cannot be reused if stolen. This is unlike the older style cards that contain all the cardholder information needed to make purchases on a magnetic stripe that can be copied and counterfeited over and over again.

Rolling out EMV cards has been a slow process because it requires the terminals where you swipe your card to support the EMV technology. Sometimes you go to a business and find that they do not accept EMV cards, which means that for whatever reason, the business has not yet installed an EMV capable terminal. You can still use your card by swiping the magnetic stripe in these cases.

Another reason for a slow rollout has been the costs associated with reissuing cards. There is cost involved with producing and distributing cards to customers which the card issuer has to bear. Depending on how many cards are involved, this can be a large expense so many card issuers are spreading out that expense by rolling them out over time rather than all at once.

Is the expense to merchants and card issuers worth it? According to information supplied by the American Banking Association, consumer use is up, merchant use is up and fraud is down. While using the chip card may take a tiny bit longer to complete the transaction, when presented with an option, we recommend you choose inserting the chip over swiping the strip to take advantage of its enhanced security! Take a look at this EMV Infographic to see how this technology is driving down fraud.

When Will I Get Mine?

State Savings Bank has had EMV cards available for some time and is no longer issuing the older style magnetic stripe card. We’re rolling them out as existing cards expire or need replacing for any other reason. If you have questions about this, don't hesitate to call your branch.

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