Smart card technology on way for credit/debit cards
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) is urging credit card issuers in Bahrain to comply with a global deadline on implementing a new smart card technology for debit and credit cards.
The EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems, known as EMV Standards, has mandated the migration of debit/credit cards from the current magnetic strips to be chip-based.
A deadline of January 2006 has been set for the shift to the new technology by EMV, which comprises the world’s largest card issuers, namely Europay International MasterCard International and Visa International.
“Beyond January 2006, liability for fraudulent transactions will lie with magnetic stripe card issuers or acquirers, if it can be demonstrated that that the use of smart card technology would have prevented the fraud,” said Mr. Riyad Al Maraj, Superintendent, Systems Development, at the BMA.
He was speaking at a seminar on EMV Standards, at the Regency Inter-Continental Hotel. The event was organized by Bahrain-based Al-Faris Information Technologies Company, with the support of the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) and The Benefit Company, which operates the national switch for automated teller machine (ATM) and point-of-sale (PoS) systems.
“Issuers need to bear in mind that the deadline date is the date by which the whole of their card base and its supporting infrastructure should be EMV compliant,” said Mr. Al Maraj.
“Testing and any pilot scheme should be completed well before this date. Also, a reality is the certainty that the last card issuers to migrate will inevitably be the concentrated target of fraudsters as the strong security of EMV smart cards closes the window of opportunity for crime.”
The current focus of the BMA is to ensure that the issuers of credit cards are able to meet the mandated deadline, as credit cards pose a greater risk and are more likely to be the target of any fraudster, he said.
“The BMA is working with credit card issuers and infrastructure providers to ensure that Bahrain issuers are able to meet the global deadline,” said Mr. Al Maraj.
“Migration to the new technology by the mandated deadline will also enable our institutions to strategically position their business to benefit from the advantages accruing from the use of the EMV Standards.”
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