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WATCH | ATM cards with magnetic stripe can still be used after Jan. 1

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MANILA, Philippines - Private banks assured their customers that they can still use the old automated teller machine, or ATM, cards with magnetic stripe even after January 1, 2017.

Under the new system to be implemented by the country’s banks starting on January 1, an electronic chip will be embedded in the old ATM card.

The banks however doused the concerns of customers who have ATM or debit cards that still have magnetic stripes.

“While the replacements are ongoing, customers can still use their magnetic stripe cards until every customer that has a Metrobank debit card already has it in chip,” Mark Perez, head of Retail Banking Group of Metrobank, said.

The new ATM card will have an electronic chip in front of the card and a magnetic stripe at the back. The newly-installed machines in the banks can read both data of the customer’s account stored in the electronic chip and the magnetic stripe.

Electronic chip cards are supposed to be safer than magnetic stripe cards because the data they contain is much harder for thieves to copy.

Replacement of the card is free of charge. Customers need only to go to their respective banks to replace their cards.

Perez however warned of some adjustments since the system is new, “there are varying stages of migration. There might be some compatibility issues that might occur.”

Aside from the transfer to chip-enabled cards as mandated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the system should also be replaced so that Europay, Mastercard Visa or EMV cards can be used.

Banks should also get global certification so that the cards can be used in other countries.

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