EMV Credit Cards: What You Need To Know

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April 13th, 2016

EMV credit cards have gotten plenty of attention lately, and for good reason. Each of these cards is equipped with a small metallic chip that stores consumers' financial data more safely than traditional magnetic stripe cards.
Because they make transactions more secure, EMV cards are being embraced by financial institutions like Northeast Bank. Here's a closer look at the ins and outs of this type of plastic.

EMV cards tackle skimming
Card skimming and identity theft continue to cause major headaches across the United States. Crooks can copy card data and make fraudulent purchases with that information, in large part because older credit cards use magnetic stripes, the dark, horizontal bands that run across the backs of credit cards. This strip contains a card's important financial data, and skimming it is relatively easy because that information is static, meaning it never changes. By keeping this sensitive information in metallic chips instead of magnetic stripes, EMV cards are much harder to duplicate.

EMV cards scramble data, thwarting fraudsters
Although EMV chips store the exact same data that magnetic stripes contain, they hold that information in a different way. Unlike traditional credit cards, EMV cards encrypt your data. As an additional layer of security, EMV chip cards generate one-time codes for every new transaction, making it nearly impossible for criminals to make counterfeit copies of your card.

To use a chip card, dip, don't swipe
To make a purchase with an EMV card, you'll have to insert your plastic into a payment terminal. That's right: No more swiping. You'll then be asked to provide either your PIN or signature to verify your identity. 

Customers will be able to use their EMV cards when shopping online. However, EMV chip technology only makes point-of-sale transactions safer and won't protect you against online card fraud.  Therefore, be sure to use good judgment when shopping online, especially because online card fraud is expected to go up later this year, according to NerdWallet's credit fraud study. Before entering your credit card number and other details, make sure that the website is legitimate.

The takeaway
Getting used to EMV cards will be painless, and the security benefits are huge. Just remember to dip our card into the terminal and remove it when the transaction is complete. Keep an eye out in the next few months for your new Northeast Bank EMV chip card!


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