Dara Security

EMV and PCI

July 22, 2014

EMV is a trademark and technology that stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the companies that developed standards for the use of integrated circuit (IC) cards in credit and debit card transactions. EMV or IC chip cards have been replacing the traditional magnetic stripe payment cards with the primary purpose of fraud prevention. A computer chip embedded in an EMV card uses cryptography and other security features that pose a stronger defense against fraud compared to a magnetic stripe which is easily captured and copied.

EMV Changes the Field of Financial Security

The transition to EMV payment cards is well underway. According to research done by PCI, Europe and Southeast Asia recorded 1.5 billion chip card users in 2012. Full adoption of EMV cards in the US is targeted for 2016-17.

As EMV cards and the associated standards replace magnetic stripe payment cards, many people question the future relevance of the PCI standards. Merchants and processors wonder if they must continue to be PCI compliant once they begin taking EMV cards in lieu of magnetic stripe cards. However, people often overlook the comprehensive nature of the PCI standards.

PCI Will Still Be Relevant

The PCI security standards ensure that security controls are in place to secure the cardholder's data throughout the entire transaction process. The standards apply to all card payments, whether a magnetic stripe card has been swiped, a chip card has been dipped, or an online or phone payment has been made in the absence of a physical payment card. PCI standards in conjunction with EMV technology increases security and reduces fraud throughout the payment process, making PCI a very relevant piece inprotecting cardholder data as we head towards full adoption of EMV cards.