Smart cards, sometimes known as chip cards or EMV-enabled cards, are embedded with microprocessors that contain information needed to use the cards for payment. Standard across much of the world, smart cards are more secure than magnetic strip cards as the chip only transmits information during a transaction, thus making a user’s payment information less likely to be compromised – particularly important in light of recent major breaches at retailers.
So far, U.S. retailers have been slow to adopt EMV cards, although numbers are increasing; Visa reported that it had issued 3.5 million EMV cards through the first quarter of 2013, up from just one million in 2011. In addition more consumers are requesting the cards for international travel.
“Smart card technology is the way of the future; it’s vital in mitigating card-present fraud; it offers greater spending convenience to people traveling overseas, where EMV already is standard; and it allows the U.S. to move to more secure processing of card transactions,” said Bob Woodbury, SVP and General Manager, FIS Payments Networks. “FIS’ vast experience issuing EMV cards worldwide and its breadth of expertise in migrating financial institutions and payment systems to EMV compliance make it a leading partner in bringing smart cards to U.S. markets.”
FIS has taken a leading role in several EMV initiatives that support financial institutions, retailers, government entities and individual consumers: