To comply with Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines, India’s largest lender SBI has announced that its magnetic tripe debit card will be deactivated by 31 December 2019. State Bank of India in its tweet conveyed that instead of magnetic stripe debit card, EMV chip and PIN-based SBI debit card will now be used.
“Apply now to change your Magnetic Stripe Debit Cards to the more secure EMV Chip and PIN-based SBI Debit card at your home branch by 31st December 2019. Safeguard yourself with guaranteed authenticity, greater security for online payments and added security against fraud,” SBI had said in its tweet.
Last month, the bank in its tweet had asked its customers to upgrade their old cards to the more secure EMV chip and PIN-based debit cards. SBI has specified that the upgrading process will be free of charge.
What is a EVM chip card? Europay Mastercard and Visa (EVM) developed this technology. EMV chip technology is the latest global standard for card payments. These come with more enhanced safety features that are designed to prevent fraudulent practices such as card skimming and cloning.
Why the change? As part of its security measures for transactions where you swipe your card, RBI in May 2015 asked banks to gradually phase out the magnetic cards and move to EMV chip cards. That year in August, it set December 31, 2018 as the deadline for the changeover.
The magnetic stripe found on the reverse side of your old card stores all the data. This makes it easy for a fraudster to copy data when the card is swiped. However, with EMV cards, your data is stored on the microprocessor chip embedded in the card, making it impossible for fraudsters to copy your original data from your card as EVM card generates fresh user data every time you transact.
Other benefits EMV cards use both your card and a secret PIN to complete a transaction, by generating a unique encrypted code called a token or cryptogram, which is unique and specific only to that transaction.
In a move for Indian banks to attain global standards in product and service offerings, migrating to EMV cards is a great beginning as it complies with the latest standard in credit card security. Many developed countries have discontinued magnetic stripe cards to adopt EMV technology.