Due to an increasing number of transaction fraud worldwide, more and more countries are shifting from the stripe card standard to the EMV standard, which substantially enhances transaction security and operation efficiency. Now some major Chinese commercial banks are to join the trend, planning to issue their chip band cards by the middle of the year.
Zhao Kun has the details.
If you are often bothered by the small exchanges circulating in wet and vegetable markets, now the good news is you can expect to swipe your bank card soon. If you are living in the port city Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, you already enjoy this convenience.
"When you got what you want, pass your card to the vendor and he deducts the money. And that's it."
At the Nanyuan Wet and Vegetable Market of Ningbo, the use of bank cards is welcomed. It is also the country's first market that accepts chip bank cards as long as they grow a "heart".
As China is joining a global trend to upgrade card systems to the new EMV technical standard, bank cards embedded with chips are driving straight into many aspects of people's life. Li Dongrong is assistant chairman of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.
"The chip bank cards have a lot of potential for growth. They can be used in the future in the transactions of social insurance, transportation, tourism and dining, to name just a few examples."
Given the fact that chip and pin based cards can not be duplicated or compromised in a way that would invite fraud, the Industrial and Commerce Bank of China launched the nation's first chip bank cards in 2005 that are compliant with the EMV standard. Now the standard is encouraged by the central bank to be applied by more commercial banks. Li Dongrong says:
"Many fraudsters make use of the vulnerabilities of stripe cards to duplicate or hack them, but we can't come up effective solutions to stop it."
Before June, some major banks in China, including Agriculture Bank, Bank of China, Construction Bank and China Merchant Bank, will replace the traditional magnetic stripe equipment with credit and debit cards containing an embedded microchip. To date, two thirds of the POS machines in China have gone through the changeover so as to read the new generation of band cards. Li Xiaofeng, a tech specialist with the central bank, has more to tell:
"Stripe cards are recycled every five years. After a card reaches the expiration date, the bank will call you and ask if you want to continue using it. If you say "yes," then next you will get the chip card free of charge."
For CRI, I'm Zhao Kun.