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EMV credit cards, also known as chip-and-PIN cards, are credit cards that come with a small microprocessor chip embedded in the credit card. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, who are the pioneers of this technology. This technology works the same as traditional magnetic strip credit cards in that it still stores the credit card numbers and expiration dates. What’s different, though, is that transactions are encrypted each time the card is used, making it extremely difficult for thieves to steal information.
EMV technology was slow to catch on in the United States due to the high cost of converting credit card readers like ATM’s and POS systems. With the increase in data breaches and the billions of dollars lost to fraudulent card activity, the United States will finally be switching to the more secure EMV credit card technology in 2015.
EMV cards can be either a chip-and-PIN card or a chip-and-signature card. Chip-and-PIN cards will work very similar to your bank’s debit card where a PIN is required to process a payment in real-time, along with a signature. Most payment terminals won’t be immediately equipped for PIN’s, so for now you can expect your EMV card to work much like it already does. Find out more about EMV credit cards like how to get a PIN-and-chip credit card, by visiting our blog.