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Old Apr 6, 14, 7:11 am   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: USA EMV cards available today (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).
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What is EMV?
EMV is a defacto global standard of technology where there is a visible microchip on the front of the card. It looks like this:


Who issues them?
See Google Docs spreadsheet in Post #1

Several credit unions issue some form of Chip-and-PIN credit cards or prepaid cards. Prepaid EMV cards however are not recommended due to junk fees. USAA also offers Chip-and-PIN cards, but as of today membership to the USAA is restricted to current members of the military or former members who have an honorable discharge.

As of February 2014, no major USA-based card issuer offers Chip-and-PIN cards except Wells Fargo, and WF charges a 3% forex fee when you use the card outside the USA. Other major USA-based banks such as BofA, Chase, Citi, as well as others issue Chip-and-Signature cards which may work at many automated kiosks. However, bear in mind the word may is used above is a context where there is no absolute certainty of success for certain environments such as automated kiosks due to different natures of offline and online transactions. It is highly recommended to read Post #3 which lists real life FTer examples on how Chip-and-Signature worked and did not work at various transaction environments.

Can I upgrade it right now?
If it's listed on that Google Docs spreadsheet, wouldn't hurt to call/twitter them for a free upgrade. If you get the response you don't like, hang up, try again.

What is the difference between Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN?
You insert the chipped card into the slot. The physical contact terminal will read the EMV chip and the terminal will automatically read the preferred cardholder verification methods (called CVM) for that card.

Chip-and-Signature means that the terminal will printout a receipt for you to sign. This is the most prevalent authentication for most US issued EMV cards. Chip-and-Signature helps in a way that it will get through to face-to-face merchant transactions where you and the merchant do not speak the same language.

Chip-and-PIN means that the terminal will prompt you to input a PIN for authentication. Some credit union issued credit cards will have this CVM as secondary if Chip-and-Signature cannot be done. Chip-and-PIN is the more prevalent method of authentication used outside the US, especially in transaction environments where no human interaction is needed (i.e. automated gas pumps, toll roads, train kiosks, etc.).

The Google Docs spreadsheet will list which CVM are used in the EMV cards listed. Some cards can only do Chip-and-Signature. Other cards can do both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN. And others might have a third option called No CVM (no authentication needed) which is reserved for low value transactions.

One chip can hold a lot more data, therefore it is capable of doing multiple verification methods. That's one of the great things about EMV over the mag-stripe which can hold very little data.

I want to know for sure what my EMV chip does. Is there anyway I can test out my own EMV card to see what the CVM list is?
alexmt has written up a nice step-by-step procedure on Post #3615.

If most of the EMV cards in the US is the Chip-and-Signature type, doesn't that mean it's still useless abroad?
Depends if you see it as glass half empty or glass half full. See Post #3 for further details on how Chip-and-Signature has worked both successfully and unsuccessfully depending on the merchant transaction environment and use your best judgment whether which one is right for you.

Are there any places in the US that are accepting transactions via the EMV chip?
It's slowly being phased in. I hope people will post them in the Post your receipt of your 1st EMV based transaction in the US thread. cvarming has shown us an EMV transaction receipt from Brooklyn, NY in Post #2380. I myself had my first EMV based (Chip-and-Signature) transaction in two stores in the Los Angeles area, as shown in detail in Post #2705 (courtesy of WhatWhatTech for pointing these two stores out)

I don't want a chip in my card. I heard horror stories all over the media saying hackers can steal my credit card info from a mile away.
There are two types of chips. One is contactless and the other is contact. Cards can be either one or the other, or both.

In the Google Docs spreadsheet, the cards that are capable of contactless payments are listed seperately under the "RFID or NFC contactless chip" column. If it says yes, then that means it has the ability to do contactless payments. If it says no, it doesn't have that feature.

The one that the media has overhyped about hackers "stealing your information wirelessly" was the contactless type like this:

You are worried about this happening, right?

You don't have to worry. EMV is a contact chip. Which means you actually have to physically insert the chip into a POS terminal for it to be authorized, like this:

Nothing is wireless. No data is sent out in a stand-alone contact type EMV chip.

Furthermore, contactless chip cards are required to show a symbol (looks like Wi-Fi symbol) somewhere on the card that to denote it's capability as a contactless card. For example, here's an example of a Discover Card with contactless capability (in which Discover calls "Discover ZIP") showing the contactless symbol on the back of the card:

Don't believe everything that the media says. Besides, millions of people all over the world from London to Singapore, uses contactless payments daily in extremely crowded subways and mass transit with nary any problems. There are multiple layers of encrypted securities and keys that are needed to break the code.

Frankly, giving your physical card to a waiter/waitress who takes the card out of your view is much more susceptible to fraud than contactless payments.

Why should I care?
If you are an international traveler, you will want this because majority of the world has or in the process of converting to this payment format.


In fact, in 2012, even North Korea moved to the EMV format, leaving the US as the sole country left in the world that hasn't done so.

In addition, VISA, MC, AMEX, and Discover have all agreed that the US must move to using EMV payments by 2015. So if you travel internationally or would like to get one before the others, you might be interested in getting one.


BS! I had no problems using my card in [insert whereever country], [insert whatever point in time]
If you stick to the tourist path where they have lots of visitors from the US, you should have no problems using your mag-stripe only card in hotels and restaurants, at least for now. But as things can change as things go forward.

However, consider that once you start taking the off-beaten path, go to non-touristy places where they are not familiar with mag-stripes, rent a car and use toll roads, fill up gas, or try to buy train tickets you might end up into a trouble of the machine not recognizing your card because it lacks the chip. Furthermore, a lot of toll roads, gas pumps, and automated ticket machines lack any human assistance to help you when you need it the most.

But [insert credit card company] told me all merchants that display their logo must accept them! All I have to do is report them for violating their agreements, right?
There are several factors against this.

1. You can only speak English. The merchant representative, most likely a part-time clerk earning minimum wage, speaks in a different language, let's say French. If you have no French language skills, how are you going to get your point across? Are you going to whip out your cell phone at exorbitant int'l roaming charges and hope the customer service is going to translate it for you on the spot? Or maybe you might actually know French. But how about Swahili, Farsi, Balinese, or the multiple languages in mainland China?

2. Just like US, the rest of the world's businesses uses part-time minimum wage workers as cashiers to cut down on labor costs. Most of their SOP training manuals are written by MBA types to not to do anything they are not familiar with. Do not expect them to understand the intricate details of credit card mumbo jumbo. You don't expect Taco Bell employees to understand the minute details of Discover-JCB-Union Pay agreements, right? Same thing the other way around: be respectful as a guest in their country, prepare in advance in their ways, avoid being an "ugly American" stereotype.

3. You are a guest in their country. You are a minority. If 99.9% of their country's people and other tourists from around the world uses EMV, do you really think they are going to accomodate the 0.1% of American tourists who only have mag-stripes credit cards?

4. Again, you are a guest in their country. How would you, as an American standing in line, react if a Chinese tourist was clogging up the lines at a local Taco Bell because the clerk doesn't understand the Discover-Union Pay agreement and has trouble communicating between Mandarin spoken by the tourist and English spoken by the Taco Bell clerk? Same way the other way around. You do not want to clog up the lines for everyone. The less hassle, the better.

5. VISA and MC make tons of money from merchants in that country. Say SNCF French Rail. It's a billion dollar company in France. Do you think VISA is going to pull the plug of their relationship with SNCF because SNCF refuses to do mag-stripe processing at their unmanned train station kiosk? Of course not. Be realistic.

6. And lastly, if you're up against an unstaffed toll kiosk, gas pump or train ticket machine, are you going to yell curses at the machine?

But I want my credit card to be able to be used in the US too!
No worries. They have not gotten rid of the mag-stripe on the back of the card for backward compatibility reasons, just like we still have embossed numbers on our cards for backwards compatibility to using those old carbon copy imprinters.

[insert own Hyatt card image front and back together with red arrows pointing to all the backward compatibility features]

You use the chip on the front of the card abroad (for now), and the mag-stripe just like any other card for the US. Basically, you're increasing your credit card's acceptance rate by getting a card that both via the chip and the mag-stripe. You're getting a better deal for free.

And when 2015 comes along and US switches to EMV, you'll be way ahead of everyone else too!


So why did the rest of the world and the US moved/moving toward EMV?
Primarily, due to fraud concerns. You see, the mag-stripe has been with us since the 1950s. It may have been the most high tech thing back in the day, but with the technology that is available today, any shmo can pick up a $100 USB magnetic card skimming device off of eBay and get your credit card info.

And unlike skimming off contactless cards which actually need the person to have l33t programming skills, skimming off a magnetic stripe has become so ubiquitous that nary a day goes about skimming fraud going on somewhere in America, from gas pumps, Michael's stores (2011), Target breaches (2013), restaurant waiters/waitresses, to even McDonald's drive thrus.

https://www.google.com/search?q=skimming+fraud

These type of fraud used to be prevalent in Europe. But once they started switching over to EMV starting over 2 decades ago, this type of fraud went elsewhere. It went over to Asia, Canada and Mexico, Latin America, etc. etc. until they too began implementing EMV to combat skimming fraud. The US is practically the only country left that hasn't done so, therefore all the fraud that used to take place elsewhere is now happening here.


But EMV is old and it's not fool proof. Shouldn't we just skip over it and do something new instead?
Yes, EMV is old. It was developed in the 1980s and was first introduced in France. But as of today, it has become the defacto global standard of payments.

But then, what else is there? There is no other de facto global standard of payments alternative. For example, if we decide to skip over it and do something new, hypothetically like DNA matching technology, it still means US int'l travelers will continue to have problems abroad with useless plastic acceptance because no other country is using this DNA matching technology except the US.

Besides, nothing is fool proof. You can say that the bank vault isn't fool proof because you can crack it open if enough C4 is used. But your average low-life scumbag isn't likely to get military grade C4 easily either. But the bank vault does make it harder to get the bank's money over say a petty cash box. That's the point here. EMV is akin to a security tight bank vault, the old mag-stripe is akin to a petty cash box lying around inside the drawer.


I'm a business owner and I don't think EMV is going to take off. I'm not going to spend extra hundreds of dollars to upgrade my credit card machine. Convince me other wise why I should.
I can understand the added extra cost to your business once this switchover takes place. But before even saying that, look at your existing POS terminal. Does it have a slot somewhere to insert a card?

Most likely, if you had replaced your POS terminal within the past five years, you already have an EMV capable terminal. EMV is basically just not turned on yet from the processor and acquirer side.

If you have an EMV capable terminal, then a best bet would be to contact your acquirer to have the EMV feature turned on. You did your end of the deal already by having an EMV capable terminal, it is now the acquirers' responsibility to turn it on in accordance to the EMV switchover mandate.

And if you don't, you are going to replace your POS terminal anyway from common wear and tear. It isn't a hard switch-over. You can continue to use your POS terminal until it dies out because EMV cardholders will still have the mag-stripe on the back. And by the time your non-EMV capable POS terminal is up for replacement the market will be full with these newer POS terminals that can accept the mag-stripe, EMV, as well as contactless payments.

In addition, you may also want to check with your acquirer or processor about EMV capable terminals. Some of them are willing to replace your terminal for free in preparation for the US EMV switchover. Call and ask for details.


But what's in it for me? I'm the one that has to pay for the upgrade.
All the major card networks have given incentives for merchants for the upcoming EMV switchover.

If 75% or more of your credit card transactions are done on an EMV contact and contactless terminal, they are going to waive your annual PCI-DSS fees, which usually costs you around $5.00-$19.95/month per terminal. The overall long term cost savings of those compliance fees will be larger than the cost of an one time upgrade for the terminal.

The downside is that once EMV switchover happens and if you do not have a POS terminal that is able to accept EMV, the fraud liability shifts over to the merchant.

I own several fast food franchises. If I upgrade my POS terminals at all of my restaurants, it's going to cost me thousands, if not millions. I don't think anyone is going to use a fake credit card to buy $5 burgers. And if they do, wouldn't it be cheaper for me to eat the fraud cost?
Remember also that fraud isn't just committed by dishonest customers using fraudulent cards. Fraud can also happen with dishonest employees skimming off credit card data from the mag-stripe as in the case of a teenage McDonald's drive thru employee skimming off $13,000 of customers' credit cards in Olympia, WA. Consider the public relations fall out that your business may have if this happens (i.e. the big Target breach of 2013, where someone used a mag stripe card to load malware INTO Target's system). Is it worth risking to take such a huge PR disaster?


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Old Aug 19, 12, 12:58 am   #286
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
In looking around my online State Department FCU account today, I discovered that SDFCU also offers a prepaid chip/pin debit card (issued through PSCU).
I think it's from this announcement:

PSCU First to Launch VISA Prepaid EMV Cards in U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSCU
EMV Cards Support International Purchases, Carry Magnetic Stripe for Use in U.S.

St. Petersburg, Florida – (July 2, 2012) – PSCU is the first to issue VISA Prepaid EMV cards in the United States. Several PSCU credit unions will begin issuing the new cards later this summer and more than a dozen credit unions plan to deploy prepaid EMV cards this fall.

Prepaid EMV cards deliver full debit card functionality and are designed for credit union members who are working, traveling, living or studying in Canada and Europe and other regions where EMV technology is the preferred method for payment processing. These versatile cards also contain a magnetic stripe for use in the U.S.

“We’re on a mission to keep credit unions in front of the demand curve,” said Michael Kelly, PSCU CEO & President. “That means decisively seizing emerging technology opportunities to give our credit unions a leading role in the payments market. We are the first financial services provider to launch Prepaid EMV cards in the U.S., and we’re empowering credit unions to attract more members and reach consumer segments that need both domestic and international spending power.”

Users of VISA Prepaid EMV cards avoid the inconvenience of purchase declines at merchants that only accept EMV cards. Cardholders also gain stronger security with enhanced card authentication, cardholder verification and transaction authorization. Secure data storage on the chip and issuer-specific keys make the card nearly impossible to counterfeit. The PIN authenticates the cardholder and acts as a second level of security in case the card is stolen. While magnetic stripe authorizations contain the same encrypted code for every transaction, EMV chip authorizations are processed using unique encrypted data codes specific to each transaction.

Chip authentication is proven to reduce transaction fraud and positions credit unions to avoid VISA’s liability shift to issuers, which is scheduled for 2015. These fully featured cards can be personalized or non-personalized and sold in branch or on a website. Value can be loaded onto the cards from a website, IVR, branch, using debit/credit cards, account transfers from checking/savings accounts or through direct deposit.
From this, one can gather that if your credit union's services are provided by PSCU then chances are high that you can get a prepaid EMV Chip-and-PIN card.

Now let's see how the big name banks react. Maybe Chip-and-PIN debit cards will be on the way as well?

Like I said, competition rules.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 10:18 am   #287
 
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During a conversation with a Chase CSR about my Sapphire Preferred, I asked if they had a chip and pin or chip and signature version of the card. He said they are not offering either, and had no plans to do so, but they're looking into chip and pin, as that's what people want and it better deals with issues people call about.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 11:29 am   #288
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
The process is not that complicated with State Department FCU. I applied online, had an email the next morning asking for the last two pay stubs and a signature on an application form
The process, apparently, is not that complicated for several credit unions as long as you have normal direct employment income which produces pay stubs.

But what if you had no pay stubs (because you're self employed, a per-project-biling contractor, unemployed but investment income, etc)? Would it still have been as easy at State Department FCU then?

The "complexity" part of this thread started a handful of posts ago when someone who doesn't have pay stubs (because of their manner of income, not because of their lack of income) tried to apply somewhere. Perhaps part of the complexity there was due to the specific credit union, but another part of the complexity sure seemed to be because they seemed to be set up only for people who work for an employer and get pay stubs.

Last edited by sdsearch; Aug 19, 12 at 11:34 am.. Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 19, 12, 1:59 pm   #289
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
The process, apparently, is not that complicated for several credit unions as long as you have normal direct employment income which produces pay stubs.

But what if you had no pay stubs (because you're self employed, a per-project-biling contractor, unemployed but investment income, etc)? Would it still have been as easy at State Department FCU then?

The "complexity" part of this thread started a handful of posts ago when someone who doesn't have pay stubs (because of their manner of income, not because of their lack of income) tried to apply somewhere. Perhaps part of the complexity there was due to the specific credit union, but another part of the complexity sure seemed to be because they seemed to be set up only for people who work for an employer and get pay stubs.
Yes, this is exactly right. If you are a salaried worker (only - no other sources of income), the process is only a little more complex than applying for a credit card from a big national bank. Basically you'll have two extra steps: 1. signing a form and scanning/emailing it back or faxing it back, and 2. scanning/emailing or faxing your last two pay stubs.

If you are "self-employed" (as defined by the credit union - and they seem to define any non-salaried income that way), you'll also have to supply your last two years' FULL federal tax returns. That was too much for me, but if you have the time and inclination to fool with that, more power to you.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 2:03 pm   #290
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...supply your last two years' FULL federal tax returns.
I don't understand why any financial institution would accept tax return copies provided by the applicant. These can easily be falsified. They should require a form 4506 or 4506-T.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 4:49 pm   #291
 
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Though diverging OT, but I believe there were strict restrictions about credit unions lending money to business owners. A credit card is technically a "loan" persay, so they may not have the legal flexibility to do much compared to the big banks.

It's only recently that small business owners have started complaining about this to the US government as more big banks are unwilling to lend money to business owners.

Credit Union Small Business Lending Act Would Help Small Businesses Find Capital

Quote:
The Credit Union Small Business Lending Act (H.R. 4191) is bipartisan legislation introduced by Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), that would make it easier for credit unions to participate in the SBA small business loan programs.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 8:37 am   #292
 
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A blogger posted an interesting exerpience using a chip card in Washington DC

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/mjontr...n+on+Travel%29
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Old Aug 20, 12, 9:19 am   #293
 
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Fifth Third Bank Launches EMV Chip Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by BusinessWire
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifth Third Bank (Nasdaq: FITB) has launched a Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) compliant chip for commercial cards that will allow business clients to authorize transactions more efficiently while traveling abroad and help improve the security of international transactions. This new offering will help commercial card users facilitate authorizations in Canada, Europe and other countries that are EMV-compliant and help reduce the risk of counterfeit and stolen cards through more secure chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) technology.
Since it's just commercial cards now, won't bother adding it to the list.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 12:42 pm   #294
 
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Originally Posted by rkb2530 View Post
A blogger posted an interesting exerpience using a chip card in Washington DC

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/mjontr...n+on+Travel%29
The same article is on USA Today:

Marshall Jackson on Travel - Traveling With a “Chip Card” in Washington, DC

Seems like some places in the US started to make their terminals chip-active.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 5:27 pm   #295
 
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So who's tried a US chip and signature card at a gas station in France?

I leave for Nice this weekend. Will have a car for a week and then have to return at NCE before taking an early flight out Sunday morning. So that means possibly refilling at 5 AM or so.

Will be staying in Cannes so not sure refilling there the night before and driving to NCE will leave the tank full.
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Old Aug 21, 12, 8:23 am   #296
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So who's tried a US chip and signature card at a gas station in France?.
Read these three posts:

Chip & Signature failed:

USA issuers announce EMV cards (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).

Chip & PIN issued in Denmark also failed:

USA issuers announce EMV cards (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).

Chip & Signature may work with dummy PIN: 0000

USA issuers announce EMV cards (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).
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Old Aug 21, 12, 9:22 am   #297
 
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Also

Chip & Signature worked using PIN (didn't work when using incorrect PIN)
USA issuers announce EMV cards (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).
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Old Aug 21, 12, 11:31 am   #298
 
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Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
Also

Chip & Signature worked using PIN (didn't work when using incorrect PIN)
USA issuers announce EMV cards (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).
Hmm, so my Chip and Sign does have a PIN. Guess we'll find out. Recall having a hell of a time the last time I tried to get gas in France.
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Old Aug 21, 12, 11:35 am   #299
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Hmm, so my Chip and Sign does have a PIN.
Your card may have a PIN assigned for the purpose of obtaining cash advances from ATM's. If I recall correctly the examples in which entering that PIN to make a purchase were not petrol pumps in France. This matters because the pumps apparently use "offline" verification, meaning that the PIN you enter is compared to the PIN stored in the chip. This should fail with a USA-issued Chip & Signature card because the cash advance PIN is stored in the issuer's servers, not in the chip.

Last edited by mia; Aug 21, 12 at 1:31 pm..
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Old Aug 21, 12, 11:39 am   #300
 
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Yeah the credit union person said if I use the PIN at a bank or ATM, it's treated as a cash advance, since I get cash out.

But for regular transactions, it won't be assessed finance charges.

However, that doesn't say anything about how the PIN is stored. She did say they can't change it at the branch.

It's all new so they probably aren't familiar with which kinds of transactions are supported.

That's strange, what is the point of having a chip if you're not going to store all the details. If the encryption is good enough for the account number, it should be for the PIN too.

They can't assume POS terminals will be online, otherwise the things are pointless.

So what kind of EMV cards is BofA and Citi issuing again? Hopefully Visa clears up all this hassle soon.
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