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Cards Corner: Why EMV?

By: Amy MacMullen, Director of Card Services

Amy MacmullenSept. 12, 2014 -- I’ve been getting a lot of calls from members asking this very question, so I thought it a great topic to address. From a credit union standpoint, the biggest benefit of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip cards lies in its powerful fraud prevention technology inherent in the chip. Because every EMV chip card is essentially a small, secure computer, EMV cards are nearly impossible to counterfeit. By replacing the current unencrypted magnetic stripe with a chip embedded in the card, smartcard technology adds dynamic data to the transaction process, making it far less vulnerable to fraudsters.

EMV secures the payment transaction with enhanced functionality in three areas:

Learn more about EMV chip-enabled cards

Join Corporate One and PSCU for upcoming workshops that will explore the EMV migration in the U.S. and the path to future payments innovations. This is your chance to understand EMV payments strategies that will be appropriate for your institution, your members and the merchant community.

Topics covered in this seminar include:

  • Where the market is with Debit and Credit
  • What EMV means and what the differences are between offline and online
  • What you need to get ready for EMV processing

Join us and get the facts to start your planning process now.

Register HereJackson, MS
October 15
Register Here Miami, FL
November 18

Card Authentication

The card is authenticated during the payment transaction, protecting against counterfeit cards. Transactions require an authentic card validated either online by the issuer using a dynamic cryptogram or offline with the terminal using Static Data Authentication (SDA), Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) or Combined DDA with application cryptogram generation (CDA). EMV transactions also create unique transaction data, so that any captured data cannot be used to execute new transactions.

Cardholder Verification

Authenticating the cardholder protects against lost and stolen cards. Cardholder verification ensures the person attempting to make the transaction is the person to whom the card belongs. EMV supports four cardholder verification methods, (CVM): offline PIN, online PIN, signature, or no cardholder verification method (CVM). The issuer prioritizes CVMs based on the associated risk of the transaction (for example, no CVM is used for unattended devices where transaction amounts are typically quite low).

Transaction Authorization

Transaction authorization uses issuer-defined rules to authorize transactions. The transaction is authorized either online and offline. For an online authorization, transactions proceed as they do today in the U.S. with magnetic stripe cards. The transaction information is sent to the issuer, along with a transaction-specific cryptogram, and the issuer either authorizes or declines the transaction. In an offline EMV transaction, the card and terminal communicate and use issuer-defined risk parameters that are set in the card to determine whether the transaction can be authorized. (Offline transactions are used when terminals do not have online connectivity, [e.g. at a ticket kiosk] or in countries where telecommunications costs are high.)

Corporate One has adopted EMV. We are ready to support you as you navigate through the new world of EMV. Let us help you to implement this new technology and better protect your credit union and members. Contact me to discuss.

Amy MacMullen is Corporate One’s Director of Card Service and can be reached at 614.825.9339 or


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