360° Coverage : For Prepaid Cards, Go The EMV Chip Route When You Can

2 Updates

For Prepaid Cards, Go The EMV Chip Route When You Can

Feb 7 2014, 7:12pm CST | by

Besides the thieves themselves, the main culprit to emerge from the recent heist of personal information from over 100 million Target and Neiman Marcus shoppers isn’t human at all. Rather, the...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

For Prepaid Cards, Go The EMV Chip Route When You Can

Feb 7 2014, 7:12pm CST | by

Besides the thieves themselves, the main culprit to emerge from the recent heist of personal information from over 100 million Target and Neiman Marcus shoppers isn’t human at all. Rather, the unlikely villain is a decades old piece of technology known simply as the magstripe, or magnetic stripe, that graces the backs of billions of credit, debit and prepaid debit cards carried by Americans in their pocketbooks and wallets everyday.  But, there is an alternative on the way, the EMV chip card.

In a way that not even the most well-crafted editorials or investigative journalism series could have accomplished, the collective anger spawned by millions of consumers has focused a spotlight on the inability of magnetic stripe technology to safeguard the critical account and personal data it contains. “Basically, the magnetic strip contains all the data needed for credit card fraud,” says Lamar Bailey, Director of Security Research for Tripwire, a data security firm that works with companies like Visa, MasterCard and Safeway. “Unfortunately, these strips are very easy to read and duplicate and are a favorite target for a wide variety of financial fraud.”

As difficult as the lesson has been to learn, there is now a more widespread understanding of the need to quickly embrace so-called smart cards. Also known as EMV or chip and PIN cards, they have been the standard in Europe for years and offer far greater identity protection than magnetic strips.

Introduced in the 1990s in Europe, these so-called EMV cards take their name from Europay/MasterCard/Visa. As Robert Siciliano, the CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, explains it, EMV chip cards contain an embedded microchip that is authenticated using a personal identification number, or PIN. “When a customer uses a smart card to make a purchase, the card is placed into a PIN pad terminal or a modified swipe-card reader, which accesses the card’s microchip and verifies the card’s authenticity. The customer then enters a four digit PIN, which is checked against the PIN stored on the card.”

This is another way of saying that smart cards are a tougher nut for identity thieves to crack – and a good explanation as to why global cyber criminals have set their sights on the U.S. It also means that, whenever possible, American consumers should choose a payment card that offers EMV chip protection. This is particularly true for the growing number of Americans who utilize prepaid debit cards.

While it’s true that the prepaid debit card industry has been exploding recently – Mercator Advisory Groups reports that Americans loaded $192 billion onto prepaid cards in 2012 – the mainstreaming of a product once favored primarily by those who couldn’t get bank accounts or credit cards has not yet been accompanied by stronger consumer protections. For instance, if a credit card is lost or stolen, federal law limits consumer liability to just $50, although most major card issuers offer zero liability. Federal law also protects debit cards, although limiting liability depends on a consumer quickly reporting a card lost or stolen. By sharp contrast, prepaid debit cards do not have blanket protection. The terms and conditions vary depending on the card issuer, with some being quite good and others nonexistent.

Because of that lack of protection, prepaid debit card users concerned about fraud can avoid having their accounts cleaned out by getting an EMV chip card. Unfortunately, these smart cards are not available everywhere – not even close. Some card issuers, such as the Members 1 st Federal Credit Union, do offer EMV chip reloadable prepaid cards. But as is the case with most debit and credit cards, a smart card option is not yet available. “EMV has not been popular in the US because of the high cost of replacing all the credit card readers and millions of credit cards,” says Lamar Bailey of Tripwire.

What can change that? For many credit and debit card issuers, the change is underway and expected to be complete by 2017. A combination of public pressure, regulation and simple self-interest could prompt the same move by prepaid card providers. “The technology in a magnetic stripe card has been hacked and decimated,” says Siciliano of IDTheftSecurity.com. “EMV for prepaid cards would bring them to the same security standard as credit and debit cards and more than likely open up a new market for card providers.”

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing t ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedi ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

OPEC daily basket price closes higher
Vienna, Sep 2 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $100.08 a barrel Monday, compared to $99.99 last Friday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
India, Japan working as strategic partners: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) India and Japan are now working as "special strategic and global" partners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday.
 
 
Choose low-carb diet for weight loss, better heart
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing cardio-vascular risk factors than a low-fat diet, according to a new study.
 
 
Cab sharing helps cut cost, curbs CO2 emission
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) Sharing a cab may help reduce total travel time by up to 40 percent, with corresponding reductions in operational costs and carbon dioxide emissions, says a new study.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

OPEC daily basket price closes higher
Vienna, Sep 2 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $100.08 a barrel Monday, compared to $99.99 last Friday, according to the OPEC Secretariat. The...
Read more on Business Balla
 
11 killed in China landslides
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) At least 11 people were killed and 27 others were missing Tuesday after heavy rains caused landslides in China's Chongqing province. According to officials, about 898,000 people in 16 counties in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India elect to field against England in 4th ODI
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl against England in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) of the five-match series being played at Edgbaston here Tuesday....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India, Japan working as strategic partners: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) India and Japan are now working as "special strategic and global" partners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday. "We are now working as special strategic and global partners," Modi told...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Choose low-carb diet for weight loss, better heart
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing cardio-vascular risk factors than a low-fat diet, according to a new study. To compare the effects, researchers randomly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cab sharing helps cut cost, curbs CO2 emission
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) Sharing a cab may help reduce total travel time by up to 40 percent, with corresponding reductions in operational costs and carbon dioxide emissions, says a new study. If passengers had been...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Belly fat increases high BP risk
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) People with fat around their abdominal area are at greater risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) when compared to those with similar body mass index (BMI) but fat concentrations...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Fung targets home success at PGM Sabah Championship
Sabah (Malaysia), Sep 2 (IANS) Reigning Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung hopes to recover from a fever in time to contend for the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Sabah Championship...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Watching action movies makes your waistline grow
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) If your kids love to watch Hollywood action movies, better watch out for their junk food consumption. According to a study, viewers who watch action-packed programmes indulge in over-eating. "We...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Pitch Perfect cast feel 'under pressure' with sequel
Ben Platt says the cast of 'Pitch Perfect' are feeling the pressure ahead of the sequel. The actor, who has starred in the popular Broadway production 'The Book of Mormon', acknowledges that the eagerly-awaited sequel...
Read more on Movie Balla