Chip cards may minimise bank card crime

June 03, 2019 | 11:46
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Replacing magnetic strip cards with chip cards is expected to resolve the long-going security issues affecting bank cards, resulting in loss of money and personal data leaks in banks.
chip cards may minimise bank card crime
The shift from magnetic strip cards to chip cards has been started

The information was shared by deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Nguyen Kim Anh at the launch of local chip cards based on EMV standards in late May. “Applying the new cards is highly expected to pull Vietnam out of the grasp of bank card crime,” said Anh.

Pham Tien Dung, director of the SBV’s Payment Department, said that in addition to limiting risks of money being stolen from bank accounts and personal data leaks, chip cards are able to store a large amount of data to be easily accessed in some payment areas, including insurance, transport, and public services like in developed countries.

Seven banks involved in the scheme are Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV, Agribank, Sacombank, TPBank, and ABBank. The SBV plans to have at least 30 per cent of active cards in the country meeting the domestic chip card standards by the end of 2020. The number will rise to 60 per cent by the end of 2021 and 100 per cent by the end of 2022.

Vietnam currently has 48 banks with more than 76 million ATM cards, about 261,000 points of sale (POS) devices, and 18,600 ATMs. Over the past few years, banks have been struggling with rampant bank card crime.

In 2015-2017, the Ministry of Public Security’s C50 Division arrested dozens of suspects on charges of criminal theft and identity theft in ATM and bank card-related crimes with damages ranging from hundreds to billions of VND.

C50 also stated that most thieves who steal money by using skimming devices are of foreign nationalities, including China, Malaysia, Bulgaria, the UK, and the Netherlands. They commonly target large cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Haiphong.

Accordingly, a set of skimming devices includes an ultra-small camera set up with a sighting on the ATM’s keypad, a card skimmer inserted into the card slot, and a keypad skimmer placed over the ATM’s keypad.

This equipment is used to appropriate the PIN code and card number of anyone using the ATM. Afterwards, the criminals will create fake cards and will start stealing money via ATM withdrawals. Some new skimming devices are designed to connect to Bluetooth, which means that while standing within 10 metres to the ATM, criminals could steal data.

Not only in Vietnam, bank card crime is an issue in countries across the globe. According to CNBC, the global damage from skimming devices is estimated at $2 billion per year.

By Hoang Van

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