Fraud fears force China EMV switch

Fraud fears force China EMV switch

Chinese authorities have green-lighted a large-scale EMV chip card pilot programme in Pudong, Shanghai, in a concerted effort to improve financial security following the recent massive data breach at CardSystems Solutions in the US that potentially exposed 40 million cardholders to fraud.

Shanghai has been selected as the test-bed for the programme because the city has the highest bankcard usage in the country.

At end-November 2004 Shanghai had over 50,000 POS terminals and 4300 ATMs.

The upgrade to bank computer systems, ATMs and point-of-sale terminals for the Pudong pilot programme is expected to cost some 100 million yuan ($12 million).

Local newswires cite the CardSystems security breach as a key factor in the approval of the pilot.

In total, China's banks are expected to spend 100 billion renminbi on EMV migration from 2005, with switch over to a live environment expected to begin by end-2007.

China had about 762 million credit and debit cards in issue during 2004, an increase of 17.4% on 2003 totals, according to payment processor, China UnionPay. Card transactions in 2004 totaled 26 trillion yuan ($3.2 trillion), up 47% on 2003.

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