Philippine banks are now beginning to shift from ATM cards with magnetic strip technology to those with EMV chips to further prevent ATM theft.
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. EMV cards have chips embedded inside them which contain information required to authenticate credit and debit card transactions (see Wikipedia for more info). These cards can provide better security compared to magnetic strip-based cards.
“The difference between the two is that the information in the magnetic strip is static and permanent, and hence, easy to copy, while EMV chip is more dynamic. Every time you use it, there’s an algorithm being computed,” said Vicente de Villa III, director for BSP’s Supervisory Data Center.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has already issued Circular No. 808 that would require all banks in the country to use EMV cards by January 2017. It would be a costly move as ATMs need to be replaced as well to accommodate EMV Cards.
Banks are also looking at further limiting the limits on ATM withdrawals. “If the banks allow more limits, the more exposure it has. The banks are now thinking of limiting the limits of ATM withdrawals,” said Rene Natividad, vice president for operations of Bancnet. In 2013, at least Php220 million were stolen due to ATM theft.