Security above all

By the end of the year, all national banks should switch clients to chip cards
By Yuri Pinchuk

In November of last year, the National Bank of Belarus announced their intention to forbid the issue of plastic cards with a magnetic strip by 2015. The motivation of their decision is simple; to increase the security of carrying out of non-cash payments.

“The main advantage of bank payment cards with the built-in chip is the high level of security when compared to cards with a magnetic strip. For example, the decoding and copying of information from the chip via skimming equipment is impossible. Besides, when using the new cards for payment, the input of a PIN code is obligatory. That also increases safety for its holder,” said the Director of the Department of Bank Cards of BelVeB Bank, Sergey Romashko.

“Chip cards will be now given to all clients during the replacement of existing, or receipt of new cards. If desired, we can replace someone’s old card, with a magnetic strip, for a new one with the microprocessor. Tariffs for issue and service remain the same.”

“In parts of Western Europe some people are already seeing problems when trying to pay using cards without chips. Therefore, we recommend to all who plans to travel abroad, to consider this fact,” say the workers of BelVeB Bank.

Experts consider that chip cards are one of the safest ways of carrying out non-cash payments in shops or cash dispensers. Unlike a magnetic strip card which can be read by ‘skimmers’; almost unnoticeable devices used by swindlers that are place on cash dispensers. The skimmer receives the personal information of the user, which is then used to make a duplicate of a card which, in turn, is used to withdraw money from an account.

On a chip card, the magnetic strip is still often present, however, it contains only the information that this card has a chip, and that all operations are to be made through it. Therefore the account information remains unavailable for criminals.
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