By Lee C. Chipongian
The SM Group’s BDO Unibank, Inc., the country’s largest bank, has announced that it will disable its old magnetic stripe ATM cards by February 1, completing the first batch of EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa)-card holding clients.
For BDO depositors and card holders that have yet to replace their old debit cards, the bank is giving them until January 31 to do so.
“(BDO) has been advising clients to get their EMV debit card since it became available in the third quarter of 2016,” according to the bank. “For those who still have the magnetic stripe card, they are encouraged to have it replaced at the branches on or before January 31.”
It said that by February 1, the first batch of retail clients would have already shifted to the EMV regime. “The magnetic stripe currently found at the back of the old ATM debit card will be disabled, therefore clients will no longer be able to transact on any ATM and Point of Sale (PoS) terminal,” said BDO.
BDO has already enabled all its 3,600 ATMs nationwide as EMV-certified. PoS terminals are still in the process of converting into EMV.
BDO is required to shift to the EMV technology as directed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) by June 30 this year. The EMV compliance includes softwares updates, upgrading ATM and POS terminals, and replacing credit cards, debit and prepaid cards.
“June 30, 2018 is really the last deadline, and the only deadline,” said BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier. The BSP is currently assessing reports and the updates from banks for a more comprehensive data on the number of fraud incidents.
On January 10, BDO issued a warning against fraud attacks after seeing “an extraordinary rise” in incidents since October last year. The bank cautioned its clients to be vigilant against skimming, phishing, social engineering, and “other devious ways.”