Bank of American announced Wednesday (Oct. 1) that all consumer and small business debit cards will now have an EMV security chip included. The majority of BoA’s credit cards already come chip enabled, and with Wednesday’s announcement, the North Carolina-based bank will be the first in the U.S. to make the EMV switchover on its debit products.
“Chip technology is an important tool in increasing card security and we want our customers to have the best possible experience when using their payment cards,” said Titi Cole, retail products and underwriting executive for Bank of America. “The new chip-enabled debit cards will improve security of customers’ transactions when traveling abroad and at home as more U.S. merchants adopt chip technology.”
The security chip in EMV changes the transaction data each time the car is used, hence making it more difficult to commit credit card fraud via cloning or other card duplication methods. EMV is not an effective security measure again security breaches of the kind that rocked Target or Home Depot, as those types of attacks focus on stealing data from a compromised POS system instead of on individual card holders and cards.
Bank of America’s new chip debit cards will also have a mag stripe so as to function at merchants that have not made the upgrade. ATM function will remain unchanged.
New customers gong forward will receive EMV debit cards. Current customers will simply see their current cards replaced as they expire or are lost.