Digital security provider Gemalto is teaming up with Corporación Cardtech, Venezuela’s largest supplier of magnetic stripe bank cards, and Newtech Solutions, a consulting and technical support organization that specializes in EMV to help banks in Venezuela move to the new, smart credit card that will better protect their customers from fraud and identity theft.
Under the new agreement, banks in Venezuela working with the two companies will have access to expertise, consulting services, smart cards and technology from Gemalto. The partners estimate that eight million cards will be issued in the first year, starting in June 2009. Close to 16 million debit and credit cards are currently in use in Venezuela.
Venezuelan banks are faced with constantly increasing card fraud, mostly due to illegal copying of magnetic stripe information to create “cloned” credit cards. The problem, that affects all of Latin America, has led to a liability shift which penalizes card issuers and merchants that do not issue or accept EMV cards. This liability change for non-EMV cards becomes effective in Venezuela starting July 2009.
EMV cards, also known as chip and pin, include a microprocessor and software with security features that work together with the payment transaction authorization network to prevent card fraud and identity theft. Unlike with magnetic stripe only cards, smart cards based transactions cannot be easily cloned, which is a primary source of fraud throughout Latin America.