GRSB pilots new credit card technology to improve security

With credit card fraud heavy on the minds of most consumers, and data theft one of the fastest growing crimes, credit card companies have spent the last decade working on a better, more secure card. The days of the credit cards magnetic stripe appear numbered as the latest innovation in card safety is the EMV chip.  EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a nod to the three companies that played a hand in creating the chip card technology.  EMV chips have been in use in Europe since 2004 and use a computer microchip to read and record account data that will replace the magnetic strip on the back of your current credit cards.  The main vulnerability of the magnetic strips is that it is possible for someone to swipe the card through a cheap machine that can record card data, making it easy to copy.  This type of cloning is impossible with the EMV chip, making fraud much more difficult for would-be data thieves.


Grand Rapids State Bank recently started an EMV pilot program and is on track to be one of the first community banks in the country to offer cards with this fraud prevention technology.  This move will increase security among customers and merchants.  GRSB has already started replacing older merchant terminals with EMV-compliant machines even though the programming to support these new terminals is not yet available.  The machines will be programmed as soon as possible well ahead of the October 2015 deadline after which the merchants will bear the liability for fraud at the point of sale if their terminal is not capable of supporting EMV cards.


As part of the pilot program testing phase, GRSB is asking credit card customers travelling to Canada or Europe this fall to help test the new EMV cards.  If you have a qualifying trip planned and are interested in testing a card, please call Jeri Hanson in the Card Services Department at 326-9419, ext. 279.

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