Retail banks in Singapore starting this month will replace their customers’ magnetic stripe ATM cards with new plastic that contains an embedded chip to better safeguard against fraud, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced Wednesday.
The move will affect all ATM cardholders in Singapore. The entire industry exercise is expected to be completed by end 2014.
Chip technology provides greater security for all Singapore-based payments, including ATM cash withdrawals and transactions, as well as NETS payments at point-of-sale terminals, said ABS.
The data encoded on the magnetic stripe card is easily read and copied making it easier for a magnetic stripe ATM card to be easily duplicated. However, the microprocessor chip on a chip card is protected by cryptographic encryption and virtually eliminates the ability to copy the contents of the chip to another card, it added.
The chip-based card also complies with the MAS standard of data security.
The ATM card migration exercise is part of a slew of payment card security measures first announced by ABS in January 2012.
“As the industry rolls out another measure to safeguard consumers’ interests, we wish to reassure the public that the banking industry takes security concerns seriously. We ask consumers to co-operate with their banks in the upgrading of the ATM cards by providing their banks with the updated contact details if they have not done so,” said Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director, ABS.
Banks have different roll-out timelines for the chip migration exercise and will be engaging their cardholders at different times.
For example, DBS will start their migration exercise from May, OCBC from August and UOB from October.