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A Step forward for BSP Tonga with EMV chip enabled card

Date: Wednesday 18th December, 2019

BSP Visa Debit card users in Tonga has been issued cards that come equipped with chips on them.  These chips are known as EMV chips. EMV - which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa -is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.  This new enhancement will be implemented to counter and protect customers and the bank against security breaches and counterfeit card fraud. Most major card issuers around the world have migrated to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud and BSP will also be migrating into this new technology.


"These new and improved cards are being deployed to improve payment security, making it more difficult for fraudsters to counterfeit cards," said BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming. 

EMV-enabled cards offer several benefits over the current magnetic-stripe cards. The chip cards will have a small, metallic square you will see on new BSP Visa Debit Cards. That is a computer chip, and it is what sets it apart from the rest of the cards. 

"The magnetic stripes on cards store unchanging data. Whoever accesses that data gains the sensitive card and cardholder information necessary to make purchases. That makes traditional cards prime targets for counterfeiters, who convert stolen card data to cash," explains BSP Tonga Country Head Daniel Henson.

"If someone copies a mag stripe, they can easily replicate that data over and over again because it doesn't change. Unlike magnetic-stripe cards, every time an EMV card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that can only be used once," added Mr Henson.

"If a hacker stole the chip information from one specific point of sale, typical card duplication would never work because the stolen transaction number created in that instance cannot be used again and so the card would just get denied, " he further added.

For many countries in the world, fraudsters have shied away from countries that have already transitioned to EMV cards. However, this has increased exposure for card users and issuers in countries like Papua New Guinea who still use the magnetic stripe cards," said Mr Fleming.

"With the introduction new BSP chip enabled Visa Debit Cards, it adds an added security level that matches world class standards," said Mr Fleming.

For merchants and financial institutions, the switch to EMV means adding new in-store technology, internal processing systems, and complying with new liability rules. For consumers, it means learning a new payment process.

The chip enabled cards will be issued to BSP Visa Debit Card users. For more information contact Toll Free line 0800800 or send an Email to:   _TongaEftposTeam@bsp.com.pg  


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