HDFC Bank is now the first Indian bank to offer credit cards that meet the global EMV standard, making the switch to chip-based smart cards from the standard magnetic stripe format. The cards are expected to provide the highest standard of security for customers.
The process begins with credit and forex prepaid smart-card products from Visa with plans to issue EMV smart debit cards not long after. The commercial launch phase will run until March 2011 with the issuing of 500,000 smart cards supplied by the Indian subsidiary of security technology specialists Giesecke & Devrient (G&D).
The HDFC Bank decision to kick start this migration to EMV will affect its 4.8 million cardholders and will place the bank as leading player in the “merchant acquiring” business in the Indian market. The bank has already prepared a considerable amount of its deployed POS terminals to accept EMV smart cards.
Around 270 million payment cards are estimated to be in circulation in India as of December 2009, and the annual growth rates in this area lie at over 25 percent.