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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).
Please read: this is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread.
 
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EMV wikipost volunteers: kebosabi

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 Jan 18, 12, 10:29 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Disney World
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USA EMV cards available today (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature).

May I suggest that we create a sticky in the 1st post with a running list of cards where users may request a chip and pin card? I have been skimming this thread and see the two cards noted above and also the Chase BA card. The sticky on the best credit card offers over in MilesBuzz has been extremely useful to FTers, and I can see a running list of chip/pin-capable cards becoming a handy reference, too.

Moderator edit: kebosabi has responded to this suggestion by creating an editable Google worksheet which summarizes the EMV cards available from USA-issuers today:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...k01SHZvTUMxdUE

Last edited by mia; Jan 19, 12 at 8:41 am..
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Old Jan 18, 12, 10:46 am   #2
mia
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Please reply to this thread ONLY if you have updated the Google Docs worksheet which lists the cards available today:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...k01SHZvTUMxdUE

Discussion of these cards is hosted in this thread:

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

Discussion of the merits of EMV versus swipe and other verification methods is hosted in this thread:

Should USA card issuers adopt EMV (Chip & PIN)? [Opinion discussion]

Last edited by mia; Jan 19, 12 at 8:39 am..
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Old Jan 18, 12, 11:02 am   #3
 
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Collective report of Chip & Signature usage abroad (as of 2012/8/22)

From the collective reports so far, we have begun seeing a better picture how US issued EMV Chip-and-Signature cards work outside the US:

Live merchants
Tester(s): kebosabi report, Aaron01 report

Pro: No more hassle about wasting 5-10 minutes of your life trying to convey the "you have to take it" "but it's store policy" charade with a cashier who may or may not understand English with a backlog of irritated customers behind you. The less stress, the better.

Con(?): Some are surprised it prints out a receipt to sign because they're not used to seeing machines spitting out a receipt to sign. Usually not a problem though.


Automated kiosks - no authorization under X amount
Tester(s): geohiller report, dyung report
  1. You selected an amount that's within X amount where transactions don't need verification
  2. The kiosk will read the EMV chip
  3. Transaction goes through
  4. No more need of trodding in shame to search of a live human to help you


Automated kiosks - online authorization (using cash advance PIN and going through as purchase)
Tester(s): islandguy84 report, cvarming report, Majuki report, joshwex90 report
  1. The kiosk will read the EMV chip and will ask you for your PIN
  2. You enter your PIN normally used for cash advances at the ATM
  3. The machine will connect with the server and verify that the PIN is correct
  4. Transaction goes through and is posted as a purchase instead of a cash advance.
  5. No more need of trodding in shame to search of a live human to help you


Automated kiosks - offline authorization
Tester(s): inferno10 report, dasubergeek report
  1. The kiosk will read the EMV chip and will ask you for your PIN
  2. You enter your PIN normally used for cash advances at the ATM
  3. The machine will check the chip if the PIN is correct
  4. Since there is no PIN encoded to the chip, the transaction fails
  5. However, there are also instances where four zeroes might work in some places
  6. If that also fails, trod over in shame and look for a live attendant (if there is one) to help you process it manually

Automated kiosks - offline authorization confirmed working with Andrews FCU (Chip-and-PIN) cards
Tester(s): BeeNYC report, RRossi report
  1. The kiosk will read the EMV chip and will ask you for your PIN
  2. You enter your PIN normally used for cash advances at the ATM
  3. The machine will check the chip if the PIN is correct
  4. Since the PIN is hard encoded to the chip, the transaction goes through and is posted as purchase instead of cash advance
  5. No more need of trodding in shame to search of a live human to help you



Country-locked cards
Tester(s): unavaca and cvarming report posts #206-210
Nothing you can do about this unless you have a card issued specifically for use in that country.
Seems to be the case in Denmark.



Here are the comparisons using a radar graph:




Consumer Verdict
Having an EMV Chip & Signature card is way better than just having a mag-stripe only card and is worth getting one.

However, Chip & Signature can still fail in offline verification kiosks which is somewhat prevalent in kiosks that aren't hooked up to the acquirer. If you would like to prepare yourself in instances like this, it may also be worth looking into getting a Chip & PIN card via a credit union until the big banks start implementing those as well.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 2:59 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
Considering that the list would continue to grow over time and many cards (i.e. Citi) are still on a per-request basis, may I suggest a wiki-type page that anyone can update?

AFAIK here are the options available today (may have missed some) on Google Docs:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...k01SHZvTUMxdUE
This is a great start to the list.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 3:54 pm   #5
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
...options available today...
Very good, and thank you. Suggestions:

Column B will eventually need to accommodate a third Type; Charge. I would call the Travelex card "Prepaid debit"

Column F could be headed "Forex fee" and instead of listing Yes/No the sheet could show 0% 1% 3% etc.

Column G could show the name of the rewards program, such as "Ultimate Rewards" or "AAdvantage Miles"
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:06 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
Very good, and thank you. Suggestions:

Column B will eventually need to accommodate a third Type; Charge. I would call the Travelex card "Prepaid debit"

Column F could be headed "Forex fee" and instead of listing Yes/No the sheet could show 0% 1% 3% etc.

Column G could show the name of the rewards program, such as "Ultimate Rewards" or "AAdvantage Miles"
Feel free to make adjustments as needed; the Google Docs spreadsheet was left editable by anyone if they want to add another field or so.

I've also went ahead and posted the link to post #1 of this thread for easier access.
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Old Jan 19, 12, 10:30 am   #7
 
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Why do these all say "2011/1" in the comments field. Should it be 2012/1? Were these available early last year?
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Old Jan 19, 12, 10:39 am   #8
 
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Fixed the "2011/1" to "2012/1."

Last edited by LumixFan; Jan 19, 12 at 10:46 am..
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Old Jan 19, 12, 11:26 am   #9
 
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Added BMO (Diners Club), PNC (corporate clients only), and Star One CU (in beta-testing) from what I could gather online.
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Old Jan 19, 12, 12:43 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
Added BMO (Diners Club)
I changed the annual fee from $300 to $95 on the BMO DC. Now, I don't know if $95 is complete (there are personal and corporate versions of the card, and there may still be a Carte Blance level, which is where the $300 may or may not have come from), but for "ordinary" US-based DC personal (which they call "professional") members I have not heard of a change from the $95 annual fee.
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Old Jan 19, 12, 5:47 pm   #11
 
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Considering that annual fee and forex fees tend to be the two biggest factors for international travelers, I created a worksheet in tab #2 titled "Annual Fee vs Forex Fee" to compare and contrast between two EMV cards that one might consider depending on your spending habits abroad.

Enter in the data needed where highlighted in light blue and it will automatically calculate the make up cost between card A and B and which one you'll be better off depending on your spending habits abroad.
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Old Jan 20, 12, 5:35 pm   #12
 
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Added Andrews Federal Credit Union, a credit union based in Suitland, MD.

This one could be the best credit union as of today with $0 annual fee with low 1% forex fee (only what VISA charges), full Chip-and-PIN with rewards, with very eased membership qualifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrews FCU qualifications
Our membership includes civilian and military personnel of Andrews Air Force Base, McGuire Air Force Base, and military installations in central Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands; as well as over 200 groups throughout Maryland and New Jersey.

Not eligible for Andrews Federal membership through one of the groups listed above? You can become eligible through our partnership with the American Consumer Council (ACC). When you join the ACC, you are eligible for membership at Andrews Federal, too. Membership in the ACC is free. For more information, please call 800.487.5500, option 3.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 12:33 pm   #13
 
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Note made that someone updated the Diners Club section as some US cardholders have begun receiving the new replacement cards.

New Diners Card also have PayPass contactless feature, second card company to issue a mag-stripe + EMV (Chip-and-PIN) + contactless three way hybrid card.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 12:57 pm   #14
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
...some US cardholders have begun receiving the new replacement cards[/url].
I think it's more accurate to say that if an existing USA cardholder calls and forces the issue BMO will grudgingly agree to issue a Chip & PIN card. The fact that cardholders cannot change their PIN suggests that the infrastructure is not complete.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 3:01 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
The fact that cardholders cannot change their PIN suggests that the infrastructure is not complete.
I asked my final agent if I could walk into a BMO/Harris branch in Chicago to change the PIN. He said no. YMMV.
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