Have you received a message from your bank reminding you about changing your existing ATM or debit card to an EMV card?
Well, it’s for your own protection. Over the past few years, there have been increasing ATM fraud incidents, particularly ATM skimming. You don’t want to be part of the statistics, right?
So, to avoid losing the money you’ve worked so hard for, one of the things you must not delay is changing your existing card to one that’s EMV enabled.
What is EMV?
EMV—named after its developers Europay, Mastercard, and Visa—is the global standard for debit, prepaid, and credit card payments using chip card technology. A card equipped with EMV technology has a computer chip (that looks like a SIM card) embedded on its front side.
Why Upgrade to an EMV Card?
“My old card works just fine. Why do I need to replace it?” You probably wondered when you received a message from your bank asking you to have your magnetic stripe card replaced.
EMV debit, prepaid, and credit cards offer greater security features than traditional magnetic stripe cards. Their microchip contains encrypted cardholder’s data that are almost impossible to copy or fake.
Traditional magnetic stripe cards are prone to ATM fraud because they contain unchanging information, which hackers can easily steal using skimming devices. In contrast, EMV chip cards generate a unique code for every transaction that cannot be reused. Even if scammers steal chip information from EMV cards, they won’t be able to use the data again for fraudulent activities.
In the United States, EMV technology adoption has led to fewer cases of banking fraud. Visa recently reported that counterfeit fraud dropped by 66% in June 2017 compared to two years ago, as the number of EMV chip cards increased by 190%.
Locally, the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP) noted fewer incidents of skimming and fraud as a result of more stringent regulations such as the Philippines’ shift to the EMV standard.
What Happens if You Don’t Convert to EMV?
Your old ATM or debit card will be deactivated if you fail to claim your EMV card on the deadline set by your bank for non-EMV card replacement. That means you can’t use it anymore to withdraw money from ATMs, pay for your purchases at point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and do online shopping.
In short, your magnetic stripe card will no longer be accepted for any transaction. You can still access your account through online and mobile banking, though. Also, you can make over-the-counter transactions at any branch of your bank, but these come with certain fees.
Until When Do Banks Replace Non-EMV Cards?
Most banks in the Philippines have already phased out non-EMV cards since 2017 until early this year. However, clients of these banks can still have their old cards replaced by visiting their branch of account.
On the other hand, several banks are changing old ATM and debit cards to EMV cards as of this writing. AUB and BDO customers can request for their new EMV cards until January 30 and January 31, respectively. UnionBank recently extended its deadline for EMV card replacements to March 31.
BPI is currently processing their EMV cards, starting with Metro Manila and gradually into provincial branches as well. For more updates on this, click here.
(Note: Information accurate as of March 16, 2018. Some banks may or may not extend their deadlines for converting to EMV cards.)
How to Get a New EMV Card
Here are the simple steps to replacing your non-EMV card with a new one:
- Go to your branch of account (Some banks such as Maybank, Metrobank, and RCBC allow claiming of EMV cards at any branch.)
- Present at least one valid ID. Your bank may also require you to surrender your old card.
- Wait for the bank to issue your EMV card. You may get it on the same day or several banking days after. Once you receive your new card, the bank will automatically deactivate your old card.
- Activate your EMV card immediately. You can’t use the card until you’ve activated it. Follow the bank’s instructions for your card activation.
Banks advise their clients to personally claim the replacement ATM or debit card at their branch of account. However, your bank may let you request for card pick-up at your preferred branch if your original branch’s location is too far from your home or office.
If your ATM card is linked to a payroll account, you don’t need to go to the bank. Coordinate directly with your HR department regarding your new EMV card.
OFWs can assign an authorized representative to take care of their non-EMV card replacement. Banks require authorized representatives to present a copy of the OFW’s ID, their own valid ID, and an authorization letter.
Protecting your money in the bank is part of managing your finances well. Don’t think twice or delay swapping your old ATM or debit card to an EMV card—it’s for your own good.
Have you switched to an EMV card already? Tell us your experience and thoughts!