Philippines – Legislators ask BSP to abbreviate EMV tech compliance

By | July 3, 2017

The chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries on Monday asked the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to shorten the deadline for the banks to shift and upgrade to Europay, Mastercard Visa or EMV technology for their automated teller machine (ATM) cards.

In his letter to BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., PDP-Laban Rep. Ben P. Evardone of Eastern Samar, panel chairman, urged the Central Bank to shorten the deadline to December 31, 2017, instead of the original June 30, 2018, to avert skimming and related fraudulent activities.

“The Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries in the House of Representatives has been informed of fraudulent activities, like skimming on ATMs of local banks in the country. Skimming was attempted upon ATMs of the Land Bank of the Philippines last year, resulting in the apprehension of foreign nationals. Also, the Banco de Oro (BDO) Bank reported recent skimming attempts upon its ATMs,” Evardone said in his letter.

According to the lawmaker, syndicates or criminals are becoming more sophisticated in the tools and wares used in their skimming and related activities.

“Hence, unless the deadline for compliance is shortened, we fear that more bank clients will be victimized, to the prejudice of the national interest in general, and the banking industry in particular,” he added.

EMV is the global standard for chip-based credit-and debit-card transactions, and touted as more difficult for fraudsters to hack into, compared with magnetic-strip cards.

The embedded chip contains unique transaction details that are activated each time the card is used. The system is also protected by additional layers of security.

In a recent Senate hearing, BDO Unibank acknowledged that seven of its 3,700 ATMs were compromised by a recent skimming hack.

BSP Financial Consumer Protection Department Head Pia Roman Tayag attributed the hacking incident to the vulnerability of the magnetic-strip card system.

“So, as early as 2013, we required banks to migrate to EMV, which is the chip, so they would no longer use the magnetic strip,” she said.

“We expected banks to be fully compliant this year. But because of all the requirements and things that have to be done for that to happen, the deadline has been moved to June 2018,” Tayag told senators.

The EMV Card Fraud Liability Shift Framework protects customers from any liability from the fraudulent use of magnetic-strip cards. EMV noncompliant banks bear the burden of fraud,
officials said.

Source: Business Mirror