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The NuPay EMV NuCard – embracing the future


Johannesburg, 15 Dec 2021
Read time 4min 40sec

Even though NuPay has been in the PIN-based debit card solution market for some time, the relatively new NuPay EMV NuCard adds another level of security and is slowly starting to stake its claim on the market. We sat down with Vaughn Hechter, Head: Customer Services for NuPay & Delter at Altron FinTech, to find out more about this innovative product offering.

What makes the EMV NuCard different from its predecessor?

Apart from being visually more appealing, the chip on the new EMV NuCard offers a host of new security features and functionality that have been added to its current functionality.

  • The primary benefit of the EMV card is that it is more secure. With fraud on cards increasing year on year, the requirement to have a secure solution in your card becomes vital. EMV cards require PIN entries over the previous signature requirement which naturally is more secure due to its secrecy. A lost or stolen card is therefore far more difficult to use by fraudsters than a signature-based card.
  • All over the world, and yes also in South Africa, the chip has become the standard requirement for transactions. The chip has embedded security that is far more difficult to break into and proves its validity without the requirement to go online to a bank to obtain verification.
  • Doing online e-commerce transactions is also more secure as merchants, banks and cardholders are protected with cryptography in the transaction enabled through EMV.
  • The magnetic strip on a card can only store so much data. The chip on a card is so much more powerful and has access to hugely enhanced data sets. Think about a cellphone SIM card, which is nothing more than a chip that can process and store masses of information; the EMV chip on a card does not differ much from this.
  • EMV has made 'tap and go' available on a chip card, which offers less interaction, which in turn lessens the requirement for you to hand over your card for someone else to do a transaction, thus providing fewer opportunities for fraudsters to skim a card. Add the additional security that the chip offers, and this is simply a must-have for security, comfort and accessibility.

How has technology evolved since the introduction of magstripe cards and why are EMV chip cards becoming more popular?

In the COVID environment that we are living in today, other than the security features already listed, no consumer wants other parties to touch their belongings. Why should your card be any different? The EMV card offers better restrictions in this area as consumers can simply tap their card at participating merchants.

Do you have to sign a slip or enter a PIN when using the EMV NuCard?

No, signing slips is specifically one of the items that has been done away with in EMV cards. Because your data is stored on the chip, including algorithms that can authenticate and verify your PIN number without connecting to the bank, there is more security in a PIN, and this has now become the preferred authentication method rather than signatures which can be easily forged.

Does the use of an EMV card lessen the risk of fraud?

Traditional signature-based cards have a high risk of fraud due to being able to simply copy the signature on the back of the card. Let’s face it, we very seldom saw merchants that checked and verified the signature on the back of a card to the one you produced on a slip. Skimming a card was also far simpler, as the data on a magstripe is not as secure or encrypted as the data on the chip of an EMV card. It is far more difficult to access a chip, and this cannot be done with a simple handheld skimming device at present.

Why should customers choose the NuPay EMV NuCard over other cards in the market?

With the all-new EMV NuCard, we offer consumers the ability to process transactions in a 'tap and go' environment with greater security than a magstripe, supported by PIN authentication which is more protected. The concern associated with magstripe cards is significantly reduced because of the added safety. Because more data can be stored on the chip, future development and innovation on cards has become a reality. One of these innovations is our soon to launch card-to-card payments, where a consumer can move funds from one card to another. These is no need to loan your card to your spouse or children anymore, and you can control what they have available to spend. Furthermore, the world is getting far more efficient with online shopping and the new EMV NuCard empowers and allows consumers to connect in this environment and reap the benefits and convenience of online shopping with less concern of suffering a security attack.

The future is now, and products like the NuPay EMV NuCard are paving the way!

Editorial contacts
Brand Specialist for Altron FinTech Raelene van der Mescht
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