What are EMV Enabled Credit and Debit Cards (Security & Restrictions in India)

All of a sudden, my HDFC bank decided to send a new credit card even though the expiry date was due late. When it arrived, I was surprised to see that there is a Micro SIM inserted in it.  Out of curiosity, I called in my bank. They said this is the new security feature, which will make sure nobody will be able to copy your CC into a new CC and use it as they like. In this post, I will share more about EMV enabled Credit card and Debit card in India, restrictions, and security.

What are EMV Enabled Credit and Debit Cards

Even if you have EMV enabled CC, it’s going to work as it was working before. At least that’s what my bank said Even when a 3D secure pin was enabled,  Some of the websites could charge you without asking for 3D secure Pin. The logic is the same. Even if you have EMV Credit Cards with the PIN, it will work on any online transactions.

EMV Credit card India

Next, I went ahead and tried to check if any of the government websites have more info. Luckily RBI has this straight information upfront.

It seems that RBI is getting strict with the use of Debit and Credit Card, especially on the International level. Not only they want to restrict the number of transactions that can be authorized on the card but also take them entirely off for International usage.

Can you use the new EMV Enabled Credit & Debit Cards Online?

There are some myths floating around that the new Credit Card cannot be used in the online transaction i.e. Online Shopping website.  I called in my bank, and it turned out to be incorrect. So here are some essential facts you should know:

  • The New Chip system or EMV Chip is to protect your transaction when used with a payment machine. It makes sure that nobody can copy the data on your CC and you are available when the transaction is being processed. Yes, you need to be there to enter your PIN like when you had used your debit card.
  • EMV Chip-enabled credit cards will work fine when it comes to online transactions. They are, however, protected by your verified by Visa Password or 3D secure pin, i.e. bank’s secure site for identification verification.

Since this EMV Chip machines are not available at all shops and hotels, my Credit Card has an option for both EMV and Swipe. I guess the bank might have taken this hybrid method as the merchants get time to upgrade themselves. However, the bank instructed that if I get an option of using EMV, I better use that.

Related: How to keep your Credit Card safe.

List of rules set by RBI for EMV Credit and Debit Cards:

  1. All new debit and credit cards to be issued only for domestic usage unless the customer seeks explicitly international use. Such cards enabling global usage will have to be necessarily EMV Chip, and Pin enabled. (By June 30, 2013)
  2. Issuing banks should convert all existing MagStripe cards to EMV Chip card for all customers who have used their cards internationally at least once (for/through e-commerce/ATM/POS) (By June 30, 2013)
  3. All the active Magstripe international cards issued by banks should have a threshold limit for global usage. The threshold should be determined by the banks based on the risk profile of the customer and accepted by the customer (By June 30, 2013). Till such time this process is completed an omnibus threshold limit (say, not exceeding USD 500) as determined by each bank may be put in place for all debit cards and all credit cards that have not been used for international transactions in the past.

My Understanding:

  • It depends on your bank if you can have International transactions enabled on your CC or not. It’s a good thing to restrict because for many International transactions might not be the requirement.
  • In case you have already used your CC Internationally, You will be getting the new EMV enabled CC soon. However, if you do not, ask your bank.
  • Again it depends on your bank, your bank account, and your relationship with the bank.

Share your thoughts. Let me know what do you think about this. Did you face any issue with the new EMV Credit Card in India or abroad?

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