Since the past 2-3 months, you would have been receiving messages from your bank about replacement of your existing magnetic stripe cards with the newer EMV chip cards. This is applicable for both debit cards as well as credit cards.
This is due to a notification from the Reserve Bank of India making it mandatory for all banks to issue EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip cards before December 31, 2018. As per the RBI,
– new card to be issued by your bank before December 31, 2018
– to be replaced irrespective of validity period of the existing card
– applies to all domestic and internationally valid debit and credit cards
Reasons to get an EMV Chip card
The RBI feels that the newer EMV Chip cards with added authentication via a PIN, combined with OTPs on mobile phone for other online purchases, would be more reliable and secure than the existing magnetic stripe-only technology.
Till recently, cards with the magnetic stripe were in use and the merchant would swipe the card on the PoS (Point of Sale) terminal to register the purchase without any further authentication from the card holder. However, in case of a chip card, the card holder has to input a PIN to authenticate and complete the transaction.
While these new EMV cards also have a magnetic stripe on the reverse, sensitive information is encrypted and stored on the chip, making it more difficult for hackers to access that data by just skimming or cloning the card. However this is not a guaranteed or fool-proof solution. There are other ways in which fraud can happen, especially online and even unknowingly due to your own carelessness. Here are some ways to avoid card fraud and keep your card safe.
Previously, RBI had made this mandatory from September 01, 2015 but at the time, banks had expressed difficulty in meeting this timeline, so an extension was granted.
Most banks are issuing these EMV Chip and PIN cards free of cost. If you have not yet received the replacement card, please contact your bank to avoid any issues from January 01, 2019.