Lenders to incorporate chip-based technology in their ATMs

The technology enhances security of ATM transactions as fraudsters would have difficulty in card replication.

ATM operators will implement chip-based technology for their cash machines, the Monetary Authority announced on Wednesday.

Compared to the magnetic stripe currently in use, chip-based technology will make it much more difficult for fraudsters to replicate ATM cards with stolen data for use in Hong Kong.

Authorised institutions will upgrade ATM terminals and conduct the card replacement exercise from early next year. About 2,900 terminals and 20 million cards are involved. The implementation will be undertaken in phases.

The card replacement process will be completed by March 2014 for debit cards and credit cards linked to cardholders’ bank accounts, and by the end of 2015 for the remaining credit cards.

As many overseas ATMs are still using magnetic stripe technology, the new chip card will still feature a magnetic stripe. But enhanced security measures will be implemented for overseas ATM transactions.

The overseas ATM cash withdrawal capability for chip cards will be pre-set as “deactivated” and must be activated by cardholders through appropriate channels before ATM cash withdrawal transactions can be conducted overseas, accoring to a Monetary Authority report

Cardholders can also choose to restrict the time period and set a lower withdrawal limit for overseas transactions.

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