All PHL banks, credit card issuers complete shift to EMV technology

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By Melissa Luz T. Lopez
Senior Reporter

ALL BANKS and credit card issuers have fully migrated to chip-based cards as of end-2018, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, which comes after a four-year transition period.

This comes months after the central bank’s June 30 deadline for all firms to shift to the Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) technology prescribed by the regulator, which has been the second and final extension given for all lenders to comply.

“All BSP supervised financial institutions, consisting of banks and non-bank financial institutions, have fully complied with the BSP requirement to complete the migration of their entire payments system network to EMV technology as of 28 December 2018,” BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said in an e-mail interview.

The central bank announced the EMV requirement in 2014 and initially set a January 2017 target for lenders to complete the shift. Apart from replacing cash, debit and credit cards, the central bank also requires banks to upgrade back-end systems as well as point-of-sale and automated teller machine terminals to accommodate the new technology.




An EMV card contains a microprocessor chip which creates a unique transaction code for each payment. This is now the global standard, as it is deemed more secure compared to magnetic strip-based cards that carry a fixed set of data used for all transactions.

Failure to comply with the EMV standard is considered a “serious offense,” Ms. Fonacier said, with banks to be meted out with sanctions and fines as needed.

Prior to the full migration, the BSP instructed banks to set up reserves for potential card fraud so that they can shoulder the burden and settle theft cases for all non-EMV cards still in use.

This effectively shifts the burden on the card issuer whenever their client falls victim to skimmers or identity theft done via the old magstripe cards.

Customer complaints due to counterfeit cards must also be processed and resolved within 10 days rather than the usual 45-day standard.