So you have a fancy new chip in your Rhinebeck Bank debit card, and now your transactions at the store are taking a bit longer than before. What’s going on, and why do you need this? The chip uses a more advanced technology, called EMV. EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard®, and Visa®. Here’s why the new EMV technology is important:

bank card

To understand how we got to this point, let’s first look to the past. When was the last time you listened to your favorite song on a tape player? The cassette tape was developed in the 1960s, around the same time magnetic strip credit cards appeared. As a matter of fact, the core technology of magnetic strips was developed in 1928. Because of this, it’s easy and cheap for fraudsters to steal your information and use it fraudulently.

EMV chips, on the other hand, are extremely difficult to clone. When the chip is inside the payment terminal, a secure and encrypted communication takes place between the store and your bank. While the transaction time at a terminal may be a bit longer, you are getting a significantly more secure transaction.

The real question is, why do we still use magnetic strip technology for some transactions? Simply put, it works well and most businesses have the ability to accept it. Development of the technology and new EMV hardware comes at a cost for processors, banks and merchants. Phase one of the US migration, getting chip cards into the hands of consumers and having large merchants ready to accept them, is coming to a close; phase two, acceptance and adoption, is now in full swing. Getting banks, merchants, and processors to switch to a new technology takes time and can be costly, but the consumer ultimately benefits from a more secure transaction.

This technology is going to grow over time. While right now it may seem like an inconvenience, Rhinebeck Bank’s goal is to keep your money and information safe. Many countries around the world have already made the switch to EMV. The US is one of the last countries to make the switch, and businesses and banks all throughout the country are working together to make chip cards the new standard. Protecting consumers’ money is a top priority. The next time you have to wait an extra 10 seconds at the store, keep in mind what that little chip is doing for you.


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Dawn Scherer

SVP, Operations and Technology