The introduction of a new payments standard known as EMV, or chip and PIN, has revolutionized payments around the globe. The parking industry, which relies on payments systems across its various networks, is directly affected by this technology shift.
EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip-card technology, replacing traditional “swipe” cards – also known as magnetic-stripe or “mag-stripe.” Instead of a mag-stripe, the “smart” cards include an embedded chip to store data, which all terminals must read in order to authenticate the transaction, mostly in combination with a PIN (personal identification number).
Several smart cards also feature NFC (contactless) functionality, which allows users to just tap the card in front of an EMV reader, in order to enact the payment, with the same degree of security of a Chip.
A specific problem in the parking sector is the so-called card skimming, which consists in capturing data from the mag-stripe on users’ cards, so the fraudsters can then create cloned cards. However, these cloned cards work only in terminals that still accept mag-stripe cards. Traditional magnetic stripe credit cards can be easily cloned, while the smart ones are nearly impossible to duplicate.
Chip&Pin credit card transactions are a lot more secure than traditional magnetic stripe transactions. In fact, when paying with your Chip & Pin credit card, a one-time code is created, that moves between the card’s chip and the retailer’s point of sale terminal, so the data is useless except to the parties involved.
Not only are Chip-and-PIN credit card transactions more secure, they are also quicker to complete than cash and traditional credit card payment. The NFC payment method is a touch-free solution for automatic pay stations, as it allows the user to just tap the card in front of an EMV reader to enact the payment.
This method comes with the same degree of security of a chip, and definitely makes transactions quicker. By eliminating the interaction with pin pads, this technology shift virtually erases the need for contact during transactions.