Why you should have new chip based debit cards

If you are using debit or credit doesn’t have a chip at the front, now you have to replaced your existing card before the year ends. Because according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification, banks have been asked to make it mandatory to issue cards with EMV chips fitted on them.

Till now, most of the plastic payment cards came with a magnetic strip at the back, which was the means to swipe for payment, as well as use it for taking out cash from ATMs. But the old feature was easy to hack into, leaving millions of users vulnerable to card thefts or skimming without their knowledge.

To reduce such instances, RBI feels that with the assurance of having an EMV (named after Euro Pay, Mastercard and Visa) chip, which is entrusted with storing confidential data like your account details and even access to the personal identity numbers or PIN.

The RBI directive reads as following: “The directive is applicable to all domestic as well as international cards, and the older magnetic strip-only cards will not be valid after the deadline. The cards need to be replaced even if their validity date ends after December 31, 2018.”

The two-factor authentication with EMV technology ensures that users are kept in the loop for any fraudulent transactions taking place from their bank account. Even one time passwords or OTPs (for mobile and internet banking) have become a reliable source of security for card-based transaction done from remote locations.

Making cards with magnetic strips obsolete is a much needed move, especially with card payments becoming a prominent medium for consumers in countries like India.

So, if you do have a card that has a magnetic strip only, then it is time to change, especially because it will stop working for payments and on ATM machines by 31 December. Banks have been asked to replace these cards for free, and if yours hasn’t done that yet, it’s time to head over and get it replaced.

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