EMV Cards: What You Need To Know

Your credit cards are changing, although probably not as quickly as some people had originally thought. Tomorrow is the self-established deadline that the credit card issuers (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) put on themselves for the roll out of the EMV chips in their credit cards. So, what do you need to know about these new cards and the new process? We’ve got the details about what’s changing…

First of all, what is an EMV card/chip?

An EMV card is a credit card with a small chip on the front of it – designed to replace the magnetic stripe that credit card companies have been using for decades. The EMV chip establishes a digital conversation (sometimes referred to as a “handshake”) between your credit card and the transaction terminal in order to authenticate the transaction. The benefit: EMV chips can’t be copied or counterfeited in the way that magnetic stripes have been in the past, so credit card companies are hoping for less fraud.

How do you use the EMV card?

If you have an EMV card already, you’ll need to figure out if the retailer you’re at is set up to use EMV cards yet. Many retailers are still in the process of establishing their process for the new cards, putting in terminals that accept them, etc. However, if you already have an EMV card from your credit card company and you happen to be in a retailer that has an EMV card reader, you’ll notice some big differences. First, you have to wait until the end of a transaction in order to put in your card. Previously, you were able to swipe your card before the cashier was finished ringing you up, but that is changing. Now you’ll wait until the transaction is complete, then you’ll insert your card into the terminal and leave it there for several seconds (so the chip and network can communicate) until the transaction has been approved. This new process may take a little getting used to, but it will create a more secure transaction and help protect you against some fraudsters.

What’s the October deadline all about?

The October 1, 2015 self-imposed deadline was set up by the big credit card companies (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) to establish a timeline in which the gradual technology switch would happen. The deadline will mark the shift in liability for fraud that is designed to encourage retailers to move faster on their switch. Normally credit card issuers (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) are responsible for the costs if you experience credit card fraud. After October 1, retailers that haven’t upgraded to EMV point-of-sale terminals will be liable for fraud that occurs at their stores. However, card issuers are still going to be liable for any fraud on cards that don’t have the EMV chips in them yet.

What if I don’t have an EMV card?

Not a problem. Your credit card company or bank may not be ready to roll them out to you just yet. While October 1 is deadline, the process has been slower than the credit card issuers originally thought. You can always contact your credit card company to find out when their EMV cards will be rolled out, or you can wait for your new card to come in the mail. At the Callaway Bank, we plan on rolling out our EMV cards sometime next year.

What about debit cards?

The shift in technology for debit cards is basically up to the financial institution.  At The Callaway Bank, our debit cards are currently not expected to switch to the EMV technology until sometime next year. We will make sure to give our customers plenty of notice on when to expect that switch.

If I don’t have an EMV debit card, am I going to be liable for any fraud on my Callaway Bank account?

Absolutely not. Our customers are still fully protected by us in regards to any fraud on your Callaway Bank account. So even if your card information is stolen, we will cover any losses.