In the past years, many Singaporean credit card account holders have received a new credit card from their banks, even when their cards have not expired yet. The EMV chip card rollout in Singapore was brought about by the incidences of identity theft and fraudulent transactions in the country.
Europe has been using EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip technology on its payment cards for more than 10 years; Russia and China have them on their cards, too.
In 2014, several customers of at least four local banks in Singapore were hit by fraudulent credit card transactions with a Taiwan-based company. Fortunately, the results from the preliminary investigations conducted by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) indicated that the incidents did not come from any breach in the banks’ systems.
The ABS pointed out that the country is one of the few in the world to make use of an extensive set of security measures for online banking as well as payment card (credit card, debit card, and stored value card) transactions.
Those who enjoy online shopping, for example, can secure their transactions using One-Time Passwords or OTPs. In addition, many cards now contain EMV chips. This technology makes credit cards more secure and helps avoid identity theft. To ensure that your online transactions are secure, take time to learn how to choose the credit card that offers security features.
benefits of the emv chip
Unlike some credit card transactions in other countries, the transactions in Singapore are in real-time, done through the Electronic Payment System developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Merchants in other countries will have to wait for at least a day to get the transaction completed, and the data is stored in the EMV chip.
What makes the EMV feature more secure is that the information stored in it can be changed, unlike the data in the magnetic stripe. The data stored in the latter can be copied, making the card easy to replicate.
When a card has an EMV chip, a new transaction code is generated every time, thanks to the microprocessor chip that makes use of encryption to prevent replication. The codes are unique and can only be used once.
In the United States, huge retail stores such as Walmart and Target have the most fraudulent transactions caused by stolen information on these magnetic stripes. While the EMV chip will not make data breaches disappear, it will make it hard for identity thieves to use stolen information. According to Visa, there was a 58% drop in fraudulent transactions in March 2017 as a result of EMV chip adoption.
getting to know your credit card
There is more to just numbers and logos to your credit card. Every aspect has its purpose, and knowing the various parts of a credit card can help cardholders understand their “plastic money” more.
Here’s everything you need to know about that little piece of plastic that lets you make cashless transactions in-store and online.
credit card number
Many credit card holders know that a Visa card starts with a “4,” a MasterCard with a “5,” a Discover card with a “6,” and American Express with a “37.”
Different cards may use different credit card system and number structures. The card number contains the following information: type of card, type of currency, account number, bank number, and check digit.
Generally, the first numbers on the credit card indicate an industry: numbers 1 and 2 are for airlines, 3 is for entertainment and travel, 4 and 5 are for banking and financial institutions, 6 is for merchandising and financial industries, 7 stands for petroleum, and 9 is for national assignment.
The first six numbers on the card identifies the issuer of the card. The subsequent set of numbers, except for the last digit, is the account number. The last number on the credit card number is the checksum or check digit, which is used to validate the card number.
One point of validation that most online purchases require is the card’s expiry date. This has the month and date of your card’s validity and is a crucial piece of information.
The CVV code proves that you have the card in possession when making online purchases. The standard is a 3-digit code at the back of the card next to the signature box. American Express has a 4-digit CVV code.
customer service phone number
Declined transactions, over-the-limit issues, and the like can be quite a hassle. Your card issuer’s customer service phone number is at the back of your card, right on top of or beside the signature box, in case you need to contact the company regarding any issues or concerns.
the magnetic stripe
This part of the card holds important information and is the part that can make transactions. Avoid getting the magstripe in contact with anything magnetic since all the information stored in it can be erased.
Located below the magstripe, the signature box lets the cashier compare your signature on it and on the signed receipt. Make sure to sign it upon receiving your credit card.
This part shows the cardholder’s name. The maximum number of characters for the cardholder name is typically 15. You can choose to include a title or a suffix such as PhD, Sr., or Jr., so long as it does not exceed the character limit.
For authentication purposes, make sure to use the same name on your credit card and valid IDs.
your bank and the card name
You can find your bank’s logo at the top left corner of your credit card and the card type on the opposite side. The card type would say if it’s a frequent flyer card, a shopping outlet card, or any brand that has a tie-up with the card issuer.
The hologram sticker at the back of your card is not there for design alone. It helps make it easier for a shop attendant to spot a counterfeit card. Made from layered images, this sticker keeps identity thieves from accurately copying the card.
The ABS and other financial institutions in Singapore are working hand-in-hand with the government in taking steps to fight credit card fraud and identity theft. But it will also help if cardholders do their part and become more responsible with payment card use.
Make sure to keep your eyes on your card when making a purchase and avoid leaving your purse or wallet unattended in public places like restaurants. When shopping online or making online transactions, transact only with trusted online merchants. Use a secure web browser and do not send payment information by email.
Your credit card contains information that can ruin your life when placed in the wrong hands, so always check your statement to see if there are any unauthorised transactions. If there are any suspicious purchases, let your bank know and if needed, set up a notification if there are suspicious transactions made.