HDFC Bank, one of India's premier banks, has become one of the first Indian banks to supply credit cards compliant with the global EMV standard to its premium-segment customers nationwide.
The 500,000 smart cards for the commercial launch phase that will run until March 2011 are being supplied by the Indian subsidiary of security technology specialists Giesecke & Devrient (G&D). This initiative significantly boosts the Indian subcontinent's migration to EMV, from standard magnetic stripe formats to chip-based smart cards. These cards are based on complex and advanced technology and will provide the highest standard of security. This further enhances the security of electronic payment systems.
HDFC Bank has started its migration to the EMV standard with credit and forex prepaid smart-card products on the Visa platform. HDFC Bank also plans to issue EMV smart debit cards in the near future. Going forward, these smart cards will also serve as a multi-application platform. Applications being considered include a customer loyalty program and an electronic purse.
Announcing this migration plan, Mr. A. Rajan, Group Head-Operations, HDFC Bank said: "We want to offer our customers the benefit of modern, secure EMV cards and safeguard them from fraudulent skimming and misuse of their credit cards." He added, "As a leading credit-card issuer in India with more than 4.8 million cardholders, HDFC Bank fulfils the needs of all customer segments from individual users through small and medium enterprises to large corporations by offering a wide product range in both Visa and MasterCard® versions. Our bank has been a pioneer in leveraging technology for card transaction security, customer service and operational efficiency. Throughout the time we have been dealing with G&D, we have always valued them as an innovative and reliable partner for payment systems and we are happy to entrust them with this vital project of EMV migration."
Mr. Parag Rao, Executive Vice President and Head - Credit Cards, HDFC Bank stated, "EMV cards offer the highest level of security to our customers especially against data compromise at the point of sale." He further said, "HDFC Bank is initially targeting its premium customers by offering to upgrade existing signature-based cards to smart cards. We will also focus on customers who frequently travel overseas. The bank aims to issue over 500,000 smart credit cards to customers by March 2011."
The HDFC Bank is also one of the leading players in the "merchant acquiring" business in the Indian market and has already equipped a substantial proportion of its deployed POS terminals to accept EMV smart cards.
"G&D has been working intensively on EMV migration in many countries. In India, HDFC Bank has given us a head start in the EMV migration business. Thanks to the experts at our Indian subsidiary, we have been in a position to provide complete EMV project consulting and operations support for HDFC Bank," confirms Axel Deininger, Head of the Payment division at G&D.
India ranks as one of the world's fastest-growing markets for cards. Some 270 million payment cards are estimated to be in circulation in India as of December 2009, and the annual growth rates in this area lie at over 25 percent. About seventy percent of Indian cash dispensers and point-of-sale (POS) terminals are already equipped to operate with EMV cards. EMV is the name of the international standard for chip-based payment systems originally developed by the three organizations Europay International (now MasterCard Europe), MasterCard and Visa.