All the banks in India are sending messages to every account holder to upgrade their existing debit and credit cards. You too may have received the same message. However, we reckon that you might have considered the message a spam and ignored it. Well, look at the message once more, that’s not a spam. The message has been sent from your bank where you have an existing account. That means you need to replace your old debit cards and credit cards with the new upgraded ones, if you have not done it already.
But why is that you have to change your debit and credit cards all of a sudden? Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given direct orders for the banks to do the same. You won’t be able to use your old debit and credit cards after 31 December, 2018.
Following the orders of the RBI, banks are following it. This directive has been mandated to protect the users from fraudsters and online predators. It is the bank’s responsibility to keep your money secure. Piracy and cloning of debit card and credit card has been a major problem, which is more prominent in online banking fraud cases. The new cards have a chip installed in them to protect your money and keeping your transactions safe.
What’s wrong with old cards?
The old debit and credit cards have a magnetic stripe only. Cloning these cards is easier, that’s why they need to be discontinued to protect your transactions. The new cards are EMV chip-based cards; here the EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. All the magnetic-stripe only cards must be replaced by EMV chip based cards by 31 December.
The replacement of cards is completely free of cost as banks will bear the costs for new cards. However, the concept of EMV chip-based cards is not old; it has co-existed since January 2016. RBI had already made it mandatory for the banks to only issue only EMV chip-based credit and debit cards following 31 January, 2016.
The orders are applicable to both domestic and international debit and credit cards.
EMV chip-based debit and credit cards offer more security over magnetic stripe cards. These cards have a higher standard data-encryption technology and the best storage technologies in cards, so far. These chip-based cards are also known as Personal Identification Number (PIN) cards.
The magnetic stripe cards have static storage and static information in that black strip on the back of your card. The customer related information is stored in an EMV card dynamically. Cloning of cards will become a hardship now because the technology takes a step ahead.
While you needed to only swipe your magnetic-stripe only card, the EMV cards require you to enter the card in a slot in the PoS machine. This creates an extra level of security to its user. Definitely, you will need your PIN to completely authenticate the transaction.
But even after all this, online transactions are at risk if you share your card-related sensitive information with unknown person or anyone you can’t trust.