How EMV Impacts International Travel

06/13/2012 - 21:00
In the United States, credit and debit cards rely on magnetic stripe technology. The magnetic stripe is the black, brown, gold, or silver band on the back of your credit or debit card. Tiny, iron-based magnetic particles in this band store your account number. When the card is swiped through a “reader,” the data stored on the magnetic stripe is accessed. Card readers and magnetic stripe technology are inexpensive,  readily available and  vulnerable to fraud. The other, more secure type of credit card is called “EMV,” which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. According to the Smartcard Alliance, “EMV is an open-standard set of specifications for smart card payments and acceptance devices. EMV chip cards contain embedded microprocessors that provide strong transaction security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards.” If you have plans to travel internationally this summer, you may have problems using your U.S. magnetic stripe card abroad, as many other countries, particularly in Europe, have made the EMV card the new standard. The Smartcard Alliance explains: “U.S. travelers are reporting troubles using their magnetic stripe cards while traveling. Aite Group has estimated that 9.7 million U.S. cardholders experienced magnetic stripe card acceptance issues when they traveled internationally in 2008, costing banks $447 million in lost revenue. The most common areas where travelers may face issues are at unmanned kiosks for tickets, gasoline, tolls and/or parking, and in rural areas where shop owners do not know how to accept magnetic stripe cards.” To avoid payment problems, follow these steps:
  • Ask your bank if they offer an EMV card. Most major banks do, including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
  • Pay in cash.
  • Don’t expect your debit cards to work at payment terminals. Yes, your debit card requires a PIN, but that doesn’t make it an EMV card. You should be able to use your debit card to get cash from ATMs.
  • Inform your bank you will be traveling, otherwise they may flag your card for fraud.
  • Visit to share your story and learn more.
Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto. Disclosures
  • My comment
  • Comments [2]

Add new comment

07.15.2013 | Parful wrote:

I want to express thnaks to you for bailing me out of this particular situation. Right after browsing throughout the world wide web and finding methods that were not helpful, I thought my entire life was done. Being alive minus the approaches to the issues you've fixed by way of your good blog post is a serious case, and the ones that could have in a wrong way damaged my career if I had not noticed your site. Your primary skills and kindness in touching the whole lot was invaluable. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't come upon such a thing like this. I can at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your high quality and result oriented help. I won't think twice to endorse your blog post to anyone who should get direction about this subject matter.

11.20.2014 | Leesa wrote:

It will be interesting to see how sunglasses evolve during the course of this century. Some websites specialize in humorous t-shirts while others focus on t-shirts that carry shocking or politically incorrect statements on them. s of designer sunglasses, compare styles of sunglasses, cheap sunglasses, discount sunglasses, designer brands of sunglasses and sunglasses replicas for sale on sunglassesmall.

Related content

Tips [0]

No results are available with these criteria.

News [0]

No results are available with these criteria.

Focus [0]

No results are available with these criteria.

If you do not findthe answer you're looking for...

Ask your question