How DO EMV Cards Work?

Recently, I received a new debit card in the mail from my bank. Upon further inspection, I realized it was one of those new, fancy chip reader cards. “That’s cool,” I thought, but didn’t really see why this was necessary. I decided to do a little research into (a) what this chip reader card is, and (b) why should people use it. I found a nicely directed video from Techquickie that explains what these cards mean. First off, these cards are technically called EMV cards. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. Allow me to break down what happens when you use a chip card. With the swipe card, the encryption code was always the same, therefore making it easy for hackers to gain access to your bank accounts. With EMV cards, each time you make a transaction, your chip in your card produces a one-time encryption code. This alternative way to using debit and credit cards makes it nearly impossible for your bank account to be compromised. Additionally, we can play hypotheticals and say that a criminal physically steals your card. Copying a magnetic strip on a card is simple, but the same can’t be said for cards that have chips in them.



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