New technology will enhance protection of cardholders from fraudulent card activity.
NAIROBI, February 1, Â 2010â€¦ Equity Bank has become the first bank in the country to install the EMV (Europay-Mastercard-VISA) technology in the bankâ€™s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) outlets and point of sales (POS) throughout the country. The EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) card contains a small computer chip, which not only gives them greater memory capacity, but improves security for consumers by making it nearly impossible for unscrupulous people to decode or tamper with.
The chip is capable of securely storing data that uniquely identifies the card and the cardholder, putting an end to misuse through loss, stolen and counterfeit cards. It means that card issuers can provide assurance to both cardholders and retailers that their transactions are legitimate and cannot be counterfeited. With the installation of the new technology, the bank will process and manage Visa cards with the EMV chip at all Equity Bank outlets and Points of Sales (POS) seamlessly by accepting card and pin, without the need for customers signing on receipts as is the case at the moment.
Speaking during the signing of the partnership between EMV Visa Card and Equity Bank, the bankâ€™s CEO Dr James Mwangi said the new EMV card technology would enhance the protection of card holders from fraudulent card activity and substantially reduce the percentage of fraud in the country.â€œThe chip card is impossible to copy and is tamper proof, as EMV-chip cards are widely known as one of the best and most cost effective solutions available to mitigate fraud. Ultimately, this new technology will drastically reduce fraud activity in the banks outlets,â€ Dr Mwangi said. Dr Mwangi said card security was a big issue worldwide that could no longer be ignored, hence the need by the bank to install new security standards practiced worldwide to protect its customers from unscrupulous people.
Mr Victor Ndlovu-The Visa Card Regional Manager said the installation of the system would enable the bankâ€™s customers to transact safely, efficiently and reliably. â€œThe Visa EMV card allows the bank to protect itself, its customers and merchants where POS terminals are installed against unscrupulous fraud and drastically reduce fraudulent activityâ€ Mr Ndlovu said. He praised Equity Bank for being the first banking institution in the country to adopt the new technology and for having the interests of its customers at heart.
Equity Bank point of sale terminals (POS) are available in retail outlets i.e. supermarkets, petrol stations throughout the country. The POS allows purchases from customers accounts without any bank charges. Equity Bank cardholders have the additional benefit of withdrawing cash (cash back) from these outlets after purchase of goods. The installation of the EMV technology is supported by the Equity Bankâ€™s new Card Management System recently installed by the OpenWay Group of Belgium and designed for multi-institution and multi-currency transaction processing, with the ability to handle over 60 million cards with speed performance of 180,000 transactions per minute. â€¨â€¨Already in operation at the Bank, the Way 4 System which is an online Card Management System will increase efficiency and eliminate the amount of time it takes to transact business in all Equity Bank Point of Sales outlets and ATMs in the region.