Sterling Bank phases out magnetic stripe ATM cards

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2013 04:40 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2013 12:41 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sterling Bank of Asia hopes to complete the phase out of magnetic stripe ATM cards ahead of the 2017 deadline set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In a statement, Sterling Bank president Lamberto Villena said it has already started migrating its ATM cards to the more secure EMV-chip enabled cards.

"We at Sterling Bank were ahead in the use of EMV cards, issuing them to clients as early as 2008. Right now, 52 percent of our cards already have EMV chips," he said.

EMV, or Europay Mastercard Visa, chip cards offer better protection from fraud than magnetic stripe cards. EMV is the global standard for chip-based credit and debit transactions that ensures security and global interoperability.

"Clients put their money in banks because of the security they offer. This is why when we launched ShopNPay Visa debit & prepaid cards in 2008, we anticipated that the EMV chip would become the standard in card security thus we started issuing the first Visa EMV card locally to our clients to safeguard their accounts," Villena said.

Aside from the improved security, EMV cards can support applications such as secure internet access for e-commerce, loyalty schemes and secure site access.

The BSP has ordered banks to switch to safer ATM technology and replace old ATM cards with new ones by 2017. This is in response to rising incidents of ATM fraud.