Fremont Bank, the leading full-service community bank in Northern California, announced today it will be one of the first community banks on the West Coast to offer clients state-of-the-art secure chip debit cards.
The technology featured in the new debit cards will provide an advanced level of data security for Fremont Bank's clients. The new debit cards will be available to an initial group of approximately 400 Fremont Bank debit cardholders during the third quarter of 2011.
"The safety and security of our clients' data is our top priority, and we are pleased to be one of the first West Coast community banks to offer this level of debit card data protection," said Chris Olson, Fremont Bank's chief operating and enterprise risk officer.
Fremont Bank's new debit cards will use STAR CertiFlash™, a chip application developed by First Data's STAR Network that uses one-time card number technology to advance security at the point of sale.
Most banks in the U.S. currently use a magnetic stripe on debit and credit cards to store the cardholder's name, account number and other authenticating information. It is possible for thieves to copy the data off of the magnetic stripe to create fraudulent replica cards.
To counter this type of fraud, the STAR CertiFlash technology eliminates the consumer's card data from the payment transaction. The technology is programmed onto a chip that is embedded within a payment device, such as a debit card. For each STAR CertiFlash transaction, the chip encrypts and transmits a card number that is good for only a single use.
Real cardholder data from the STAR CertiFlash transaction is not stored in the merchant's systems or transmitted when the transaction is processed. If the information that is transmitted was stolen, it would be useless for additional transactions. As an added layer of security, cardholders are required to verify their identities by entering PINs for transactions over $25 or those that contain cash back.
Cardholders can take advantage of the added security at retail establishments that have "contactless" card readers at the point of sale. Contactless readers read the chip when the card is touched to the reader; they do not require the card to be swiped. The cards will continue to have magnetic stripes to allow use at all point-of-sale locations until the U.S. moves away from magnetic stripe technology as other countries are doing.
STAR is one of the nation's leading EFT networks with more than 2 million retail and ATM locations, and a First Data company. First Data is a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing.