28 September 2015

If only the bank had full EMV


Gareth Lodge experiences the worst of human nature on a recent trip, and less than sterling customer service. Bring on EMV.

I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco recently, but did leave something far more valuable. For this post to make sense, you ought to read my last two posts, about my experience of using my credit card in the US.

The first talked about the customer experience, and how varied it was. Some of the quirks were allegedly to improve security, yet offered no perceivable additional security. When asked, the retailers I spoke to saw EMV as offering no better security and a worse customer experience. The second was noting that many of the threads around card fraud led to the US – either cards being skimmed there, or card details from around the world ending up in the US, where just the mag stripe is required.

On Saturday morning, I got a call on my mobile. (I’ll write another post later about this and how banks tell you to be careful about highly professional phishing scams, and then contact you in ways that look like amateur phishing scams!) The point of the call was to say that my cards details have been skimmed, as they assumed I hadn’t spent a lot of money in person in an art shop in India. Actually, given that I’d used my PIN just 20 minutes before, in a terminal just five miles from my house, in a shop I go to most Saturdays, I was rather shocked by the fact they had authorized the transaction in India anyway, even though it was highly unlikely to be me.

And guess what? ‘Have you had to swipe your card recently? That’s probably where they got the details.’ Yes, reader – in almost all certainty, stolen while I was in the US. If only they had full EMV, then this almost certainly wouldn’t have happened.


Originally posted on BankNXT and reproduced with kind permission of the author and BankNXT. 

About the author

Gareth Lodge

Gareth Lodge is a senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and is based in the firm's London office. His research focuses on payments.

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