BAP advises the public to survey ATM and debit cards for EMV chips

October 25, 2016

The Bankers Association of the Philippines has advised the public to check if their ATM and debit cards are already EMV (Euromoney MasterCard Visa) chip-enabled for added security features and safer transactions.

BAP managing director Cesar O. Virtusio said holding an EMV chip-enabled card allows the banking public a more secured transaction field.

“This upgrade on ATM and debit cards was created to protect customer information, reduce card fraud and maintain interoperability of payment networks,” he said.

Virtusio said member banks have started migrating from the old card system to the new EMV enabled cards.

With its 39 member banks, Virtusio said banks have already migrated or are currently in the process of migrating into the new system ahead of the deadline set by the regulators.

“Steps have already been taken, it is not easy to migrate into a new system – we have to take into account the volume of transactions and the amount of workload in the process of migration,” he explained.

ATM and debit card holders are, therefore, encouraged to check announcements from their respective banks and requests their full cooperation regarding the implementation of this security and system enhancement feature.

Virtusio said that banks are very proactive in ensuring the safety of their clients’ accounts and themigration to EMV chip-enabled cards was triggered by the observed increase in identity theft cases and phishing schemes, while skimmers have become more creative in finding ways to steal money from the public.

“It is the banks’ responsibility to protect their depositors’ money and this technology migration is a manifestation of that commitment to the public,” he added.

BSP released Circular No. 808 in August 2013 requiring all banks and point-of-sales terminal providers to shift the entire payment network from the traditional magnetic stripe to more secure EMV chip technology starting 1 January 2017.

Since end of 2013, the central bank has been thoroughly working with industry players to ensure that banks and the payment system providers will be able to comply with the EMV migration requirement.