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For the International Traveler (EMV)

EMV® is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology as opposed to magnetic stripe. The EMV name comes from Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®, the companies that initiated development of the EMV specifications in 1994.

EMV chip-based payment cards, also known as smart cards, contain an embedded microprocessor which contains the information needed to use the card for payment, and is protected by various security features. Currently, EMV is the payment method of choice in Europe and other parts of the world. Those travelling abroad especially benefit from EMV given the adoption rates of retailers in many of the world’s top business and tourist destinations.

Advantages of EMV Contact and Contactless Payment Cards

  • More secure against card fraud than cards that rely only on magnetic stripe
  • A transaction-unique digital seal or signature in the chip proves its authenticity in an offline environment and prevents criminals from using fraudulent payment cards. 
  • Can be used to secure online payment transactions and protect cardholders, merchants and issuers against fraud through a transaction-unique online cryptogram 
  • Supports enhanced cardholder verification methods 
  • Stores considerably more information than magnetic stripe cards

Security Benefits

  • With online authorization, a dynamic cryptogram protects against the use of skimmed data and stolen account data.
  • Card usage restrictions are systematically enforced. 
  • With offline authorization, PIN capability protects against lost and stolen card fraud. 
  • With offline authorization, data authentication protects against counterfeit cards.
  • Limits on offline activity protect against credit overruns and fraud.

Making EMV the Norm in the U.S.

While the adoption rate of the EMV card by U.S. retailers has been slow, there have been steady gains made over the past few years. Retailers are increasingly seeing the benefits of switching from a magnetic stripe-based payment card to a chip-based EMV card. There are three major reasons EMV technology makes sense in the U.S.

  • Physical world fraud
    • Fraud in the U.S. is above the global average and on the rise. 
    • Lessons learned from the many migration activities worldwide indicate that fraud migrates toward those regions which have not yet adopted EMV chip technology. If the U.S. does not move to EMV, it could become the primary target of fraudsters. 
    • The rest of the world cannot solve the fraud issue without U.S. participation
  • Cardholder inconvenience abroad
    • With market penetration of EMV technology deployment growing around the world, magnetic stripe technology becomes more and more archaic. 
  • Mobile and contactless
    • Implementing EMV chip technology in the U.S. will speed up mobile and contactless payments and make them more secure. 
    • The devices that accept EMV chip cards are dual contact/contactless devices. 
    • By installing these devices to accept EMV, merchants will ready themselves to accept mobile and contactless payments.