Categories: Special ReportCorporate Cards and Payment Systems

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The rules have changed in favor of EMV cards. But your travelers may hardly notice
October heralded the long-discussed switchover to EMV standards for credit cards in the US. The switch is well underway, and long overdue. EMV, the global technology standard for credit and debit card payments named after its original developers (Europay, MasterCard and Visa), features cards with embedded microprocessor chips that store and protect encrypted account user data, in contrast to the magnetic stripe cards that have traditionally been used mostly in the US.

However the actual on-the-ground experience is less than the dramatic switch one might have expected. For one thing, most EMV cards worldwide are chip-and-pin, that is, consumers have to enter a PIN after the card is dipped. But US EMV cards are largely chip-and-signature, with many of the banks and large card issuers saying it would be too confusing for consumers otherwise, who aren’t used to inputting a PIN at the point-of-sale. And, the new EMV cards being issued still feature a magnetic stripe on the back to facilitate transactions for non-EMV compliant merchants.

Corporate Cards and Payment Systems

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