Skip to main content

What Is the Security Behind EMV Chip Payments?

Increased security and reduction of in-person counterfeit card fraud are major drivers for the ongoing migration to EMV chip payments in the U.S. However, the advanced security processes going on behind the scenes of a chip transaction may be confusing for stakeholders new to the technology. The EMV Migration Forum simplifies one of the fundamental security features of chip transactions – the cryptogram – in a new video tutorial just released.
The video presentation, “Contact Chip Card Online Authentication,” is available for viewing at
The visual, non-technical presentation describes the process of online authentication that occurs in every chip transaction. As a part of this process, the chip and card issuer communicate with each other to create cryptograms, or dynamically generated codes that are unique to the specific card and transaction. These cryptograms are essential components of the chip transaction that validate that the chip and the issuer in the transaction are genuine, not counterfeit.
“The creation of dynamic cryptograms for every transaction with online authentication is an important feature of chip cards that provide enhanced levels of security,” said Randy Vanderhoof, director of the EMV Migration Forum. “Using this process means that even if fraudsters were somehow able to steal account data from chip transactions, they would not be able to use it to create a counterfeit card and have fraudulent transactions authorized in a chip or magnetic stripe environment. This presentation explains in easy-to-understand detail how this important security process occurs in a chip transaction.”
Use of chip cards has proven to be extremely effective at reducing in-person card fraud in countries that have deployed chip technology; for example, the UK and Canada saw reductions of 72 percent and 48 percent respectively. The U.S. is currently in the midst of migrating to chip technology, with 600 million cards expected to be in the market by the end of 2015.
The video presentation, “Contact Chip Card Online Authentication,” was developed by the EMV Migration Forum’s Communication and Education Working Committee and led by Brady Cullimore, director of the U.S. EMV project management office at American Express. For more information on the EMV Migration Forum working committees, visit
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds