Understanding EMV and NFC Payments

Your preparations for the upcoming holiday weekend probably involve putting fuel in your car, stocking up on BBQ essentials — maybe even paying a few bills so you can enjoy Labor Day without laboring over a single thing. But while you might feel secure in your potato salad game, the credit card with which you used to purchase the ingredients is not exactly on lock.

No, not even the shiny new bank card you entered into the chip reader at checkout. To compare security is to look at the basic makeup of EMV (chip) cards vs. NFC (mobile) payments. Why should we care? Because mobile payments are the most secure payment form that exists today. 

Let’s unpack the contents. We promise you can have your pre-party cocktail afterward.

Chip Cards

  • Use a microchip that encrypts your card’s data. While a step up from the old-school magnetic strip which stores unchanged card information, the microchip is only as good as the store’s card reader.
  • Can require a PIN for added security although the most widely-supported verification method is chip-and-signature. When was the last time a store clerk verified that hot mess of a John Hancock?
  • Fraud can still occur if the card is physically stolen and used at stores or online in card-not-present situations.

Mobile Payments

  • Can eliminate actual card data as all transactions are made with a single-use token used to complete the transaction
  • Support increased security such as geo-tracking and two-factor authentication for all purchases.
  • Make unauthorized purchases nearly impossible on phones with fingerprint recognition
  • Lose your iPhone? Disable it. Even easier — cancel the token without cancelling the bank card.

Download the Bitmo app to see what the mobile payments chatter is all about. It’s simple and free — just how you like your holiday weekends.