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Banks speed up distribution of EMV chip-equipped cards

MANILA, Philippines - Banks are ramping up the distribution of debit and credit cards equipped with the Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) chip to meet the one-year deadline set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

BDO Unibank Inc. senior vice president for transaction banking Tomas Victor Mendoza said the country’s largest bank has started distributing EMV chip-enabled cards.

Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) said it would deactivate all its non-EMV cards on Sept. 1 in line with its thrust to provide clients with more secured products and services.

“With this, it is encouraging all its clients to replace their non-EMV cards now at any PSBank branch. If it is your first time to replace your card, it is free of charge,” the bank said.

The thrift bank arm of the Metrobank Group started distributing EMV chip-enabled cards last Jan. 3 and its more than 600 ATMs nationwide are EMV ready.

On the other hand, Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. has extended anew the deadline for the claiming of replacement debit card with payWave to July 31 this year.

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The bank said cards that remain unclaimed after the deadline would be destroyed and clients would be charged a replacement fee of P150 for a new card.

“In addition, we will also be implementing a mass deactivation of magnetic stripe cards; thus, you must have a new debit card with EMV and payWave by then so you can access your account. We strongly encourage you to claim your replacement debit card to enjoy the benefits of having an EMV and payWave-enabled card,” East West said.

EMV is a global security standard for payment transactions that is more secure than a magnetic- stripe card wherein stored information is static and can be copied with relative ease and cloned by fraudsters.

All BSP supervised financial institutions were given until Jan. 1 to migrate to EMV technology in order to drastically reduce, if not totally eliminate, fraud due to card skimming and counterfeiting as it provides cardholders better protection from unauthorized access to their accounts.

Last month, the BSP’s Monetary Board issued the supplemental guidelines on the EMV migration requirement setting the hard deadline for compliance on June 30 next year.

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