SBP Asks Banks to Adopt Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) Standards by 2018

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has made it mandatory for commercial banks including microfinance banks and card service providers to adopt Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) standards at par with global standards that will be introduced in the country from June 2018.

According to SBP’s road map, ATMs, POS and other related Payment Card processing infrastructure shall be compliant with EMV standard by December 31, 2017.

Banks and Financial institutions shall begin to issue Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) Payment Cards from June 30, 2018 onwards whereas all Payment Card processing infrastructure shall accept Chip and PIN by December 31, 2018.

Europay, MasterCard and Visa is a global standard for cards equipped with computer-based chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.

This technology is being adopted in developed countries which helps prevent consumers and banks from hacking attacks and counterfeit card fraud.

According to the reports, EVM technology helped reducing crime significantly in developed countries where the use of plastic money and online banking is common at large scale among public.

Pakistan’s central bank, in this regard, issued regulations on “Payment Card Security” under Payment Systems and Electronic Fund Transfers Act, 2007. These regulations outline a minimum set of operational, administrative, technical and physical safeguards to secure Payment Card operations in Pakistan and are based on international best practices and standards.

These regulations shall be implemented by Card Service Providers (CSP) including all Financial Institutions and Payment System Operators (PSOs) & Payment Service Providers (PSPs) who are in the business of issuing, acquiring and processing Payment Cards in Pakistan.

The use of electronic means of transactions has facilitated the masses in affecting transactions instantly.

With increased growth in Payment Card transactions, its security has gained importance due to rising threats and vulnerabilities associated with it. Therefore, SBP has focused on enhancing the security and safety of all payment channels in the country.