Banks urge use of chip-enabled ATM, debit cards


THE Bankers Association of the Philippines has advised the public to check if their ATM and debit cards are already EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) chip-enabled for added security and safer transactions.

In a statement on Tuesday, BAP managing director Cesar Virtusio said holding an EMV chip-enabled card allows the banking public a more secured transaction field.

“This upgrade of ATM and debit cards was created to protect customer information, reduce card fraud and maintain interoperability of payment networks,” he said.

The move is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular 808 released in August 2013 requiring all banks and point-of-sales terminal providers to shift the entire payment network from the traditional magnetic stripe to more secure EMV chip technology starting January 1, 2017.

Since end-2013, the central bank has been thoroughly working with industry players to ensure that banks and the payment system providers will be able to comply with the EMV migration requirement.

Virtusio said BAP member banks have started migrating from the old card system to the new EMV-enabled cards.

With its 39 member institutions, Virtusio said BAP-member banks have already migrated or are currently in the process of migrating to the new system ahead of the deadline set by the regulators.

“Steps have already been taken. It is not easy to migrate into a new system —we have to take into account the volume of transactions and the amount of workload in the process of migration,” he explained.

ATM and debit card holders are therefore encouraged to check announcements from their respective banks and to cooperate in the implementation of this security and system enhancement feature.

Virtusio said banks are very proactive in ensuring the safety of their clients’ accounts and the migration to EMV chip-enabled cards was triggered by the observed increase in identity theft cases and phishing schemes, while skimmers have become more creative in finding ways to steal money from the public.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, and sometimes money as well, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication
On the other hand, ATM skimming is a type of fraud which occurs when an ATM is compromised by a skimming device, a card reader which can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader saves the users’ card number and pin code, which is then replicated into a counterfeit copy for theft.

“It is the banks’ responsibility to protect their depositors’ money and this technology migration is a manifestation of that commitment to the public,” he added.


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