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EMV Chip-Enabled Debit Cards: How EMV Technology Keeps You Safe

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Today, most debit and credit cards have multiple ways to transmit data and authenticate a payment. One such way is the small, square computer chips you see on the card. This is called an EMV chip and is used to help protect the user from fraud. Read this article to learn more about how EMV chips work and how they help keep your information safe.

emv cards

What Is EMV Technology?

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, which is a computer-based payment system that’s accepted throughout North America and Europe. These chip-enabled cards provide more security than traditional magnetic strips found on the back of credit and debit cards.

There’s been a rapid rise in card fraud since card payment first became popular in the 1990s. Cards and card information can easily be stolen, making it easy for criminals to make counterfeit cards or exchange them for cash.

When cards came with magnetic strips, every transaction produced the same data—or digital fingerprint. A criminal could then steal or replicate the card using this data, or fingerprint.

Credit and debit cards now also come with a built-in chip. EMV chips generate new data for every transaction, making it harder for someone to create a fake card. Even if the person replicates the data, the counterfeit card would be denied.

EMV cards have been around for about two years now. Chip-enabled payments are now considered the standard across the United States, Europe and beyond. Merchants and vendors have had the time to adopt the infrastructure necessary to run these cards. Whether you’re pumping your gas, buying an antique or visiting a local small business, the store should be able to process your chip.

However, the transition isn’t quite complete. Some stores don’t have the right technology in place. In other cases, the EMV technology may go offline. That’s why many cards still come with a magnetic strip just in case. These are known as dual-interface cards.

Security Tips When Using EMV Cards

No matter how many security features your cards have, it’s always a good idea to take extra steps to protect your personal and financial information. You should only enter your credit or debit card info on reputable websites. In the age of online shopping, many websites may claim to be the real thing only to use this information against you. Look for the lock symbol next to the URL at the top of your browser to make sure the website is legitimate (“https” should be at the beginning of the URL).

It’s also important to watch out for fraudulent messages, including someone pretending to be your bank, the government or some other official organization. Ent Credit Union will never ask you to send or share your credit card information online or over the phone.

Ent Credit Union is here to help you make sense of your options as a consumer. We empower our member-owners with the tools they need to take control of their financial information. Stop by one of our Ent Service Centers to open an account or open an account online. Most locations offer instant-issue debit cards. All our cards come with EMV technology to help keep your information safe. 

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