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EMV cards offer better fraud protection

Credit cards with a magnetic stripe are about to become yesterday’s news.

U.S. financial institutions, including Dupaco, are now actively issuing EMV “smart” credit cards to help combat card fraud. Dupaco began issuing EMV credit cards in late 2014, among the earliest of vendors in its processing network to do so.

While EMV credit cards look similar to traditional magnetic-stripe cards, the replacements are much more secure – offering better protection against card fraud and more peace of mind for consumers wary of a growing number of massive data breaches.

The card’s name is an acronym for its developers: Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

What it is
Rather than relying on information programmed onto a card’s magnetic stripe, EMV cards essentially contain a small, secure computer with encrypted card information and other security features that make the card functionally impossible at this time to counterfeit, according to Todd Link, vice president of remote services at Dupaco.

“EMV cards will reduce the value of stolen card information, because it will significantly limit the way in which a criminal can use the stolen card data,” Link said.

In the United Kingdom, where EMV cards are in active use, fraud rates are at a 10-year low, according to the report “EMV Essentials for U.S. Issuers and Merchants,” sponsored by Shazam.

EMV cards are the same size as existing credit cards. But a small chip will be embedded on the card face.

With EMV-enabled cards, you will no longer “swipe” the card for payment.

Instead, you will insert the card into a chip reader, where the chip and the processing device can communicate. Some cards will allow “tap and go” technology. This process allows you to simply bump your card against a contactless card reader at the merchant. Watch this video to see how a member uses her Dupaco-issued EMV card.

Enhanced protection
“Despite the best intentions of EMV smart card technology, they do not eliminate fraud,” Link said. “The cards take a significant step forward but do not protect every type of transaction.”

According to Link, here are some simple things you can do to protect your card information:

  • Avoid conducting online transactions that lack the “https” Internet address.
  • Only purchase from merchants that you know and trust.
  • Never share card information with callers.
  • Be alert to how and where you use your card when traveling internationally.
  • Do not loan your card to friends or family members.
  • Review your card statement for any suspicious transactions, and report suspected fraud activity immediately.
  • Ensure all home computers and Internet-enabled devices have proper up-to-date security software to protect against malware and other computer viruses designed to steal personal financial information.