Regional banks to gain from EMV migration

DUBAI - The banking sector in the Middle East stands to gain immensely from migration to Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) standard in trems of reduced card related fraud and growing business opportunities from value added services, said Mustafa Samaha, managing director, Giesecke & Devrient Egypt.

By Moushumi Das Chaudhury

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Published: Wed 29 Sep 2004, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:52 PM

He presented a paper on Smart Card technology and solutions provider at Arab International Banking Technology Forum 2004 being held at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel.

More than 80 per cent of European and Middle East banks view EMV migration with high priority. While fraud is seen as the main driver for the migration to EMV, banks have been slow to migrate their systems, citing cost as the main reason for not rolling out EMV compliant cards and terminals. While banks may be alarmed at the growth in the level of card related fraud, currently estimated at $2.5 billion annually, they still have difficulty in justifying the migration costs to EMV on fraud alone.

The managing director also told Khaleej Times, “The Middle East Banks are very slow in changing their magnetic strip-based credit and debit cards to Chip based credit card which is more secure, highly cost effective, reliable solution coupled with strategic project consultancy.”

He further added: “This is because, the marketing department of the banks, are not highlighting the benefits associated with the card, such as loyalty programmes and discounts available. As these cards will be expensive, customers and the bank should share the yearly fees of the card. Moreover, awareness is less in most of the banks in this region.’’

Much of the focus has been on the cost of migration, primarily on the cost of cards and POS devices. As a result banks see EMV migration as a compliance issue rather than as an opportunity to benefit from the most radical change to the card payment infrastructure.

The implementation of an EMV smart card based payment infrastructure will unleash a new wave of card-based applications that will reduce operating costs and will create new business opportunities and revenue streams for banks.

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