Monday, 9 May 2011

Fight against fraud drives global Chip and PIN uptake

The use of Chip and PIN is on the rise. Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-enabled cards - cards that are embedded with a processor chip that contains data and require a PIN to complete a transaction - are to be introduced in Australia and China, while Canadian retailers are in the last stage of implementing EMV technology.

MasterCard Australia said in a 29 March statement that, from October 2011, ‘all new and re-issued MasterCard cards issued by Australian banks must be EMV capable and all point of sale terminals EMV compliant by April 2012’ and ‘all ATMs must be EMV enabled at the end of 2015’.

Matthew Kovac, Director of Wincor Nixdorf, welcomed MasterCard’s move: “Aussie banks are a little bit behind the times. There have been a lot of issues with skimming”. Oliver Barrett, Partner at Minter Ellison, was also positive: “This will change the Australian payment landscape for the better”.

Dr Raymond Choo, Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia, stressed that “statistics have shown that Chip and PIN implementation has resulted in a decrease in card fraud” and predicts that “Chip and PIN in Australia might result in increased [fraud] displacement to neighbouring countries that had yet to implement the [EMV] technology”.

Chris Hamilton, CEO of the Australian Payments Clearing Association, also expects that “EMV will reduce the attractiveness of Australia to criminals,” but added that “it is not only a safety benefit. Chip offers greater functionality and flexibility than mag-stripe. Chip cards can be contactless and handle multiple applications.”

China and Canada
In China, Li Dongrong, Assistant Chairman of the People’s Bank - the country’s Central Bank - said on 4 April that Chinese banks should shift to EMV technology because “many fraudsters make use of the vulnerabilities of stripe cards, but we cannot come up [with] effective solutions to stop them”. Before June, most of China’s biggest banks - such as the Bank of China and the China Merchant Bank - are going to replace the magnetic strip equipment with cards containing the embedded chip.

In Canada, MasterCard and Visa will refuse liability from 31 March for fraudulent transactions carried out by retailers who have not implemented Chip and PIN technology - liability will shift to the merchant and consumer. Last September, the implementation was delayed by six months because of adoption issues.

Michiel Willems (c) 2010. First published in E-Finance & Payments L&P. Copyrights apply at all times.