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SBV may stop issuing magnetic trip-based ATM cards from March 31, 2021

VGP – The State Bank of Viet Nam may stop issuing old magnetic strip-based ATM cards from March 31, 2021 and expect to replace all strip-based cards with chip-based cards by the end of next year.

December 21, 2020 9:33 AM GMT+7

Illustration photo

This is part of a draft circular to amend and supplement Circular 19/2016/TT-NHNN on bank card operations.

Under a proposed roadmap, by late 2021, 100% of strip-based cards in Viet Nam will be converted into chip-based cards.

Earlier, in late 2018, the SBV revamped technical standards for domestic bank cards. By the end of 2019, at least 30% of the bank cards must meet the basic standards on domestic chip-based cards.

Since May 28, a number of banks have begun issuing high-security chip ATM cards to replace magnetic cards currently in use.  

Seven banks including Vietcombank, BIDV, VietinBank, Agribank, TPBank, Sacombank and ABBank, have already joined the switch. The cards of these banks combined account for 70% of total cards in the market.

In addition to switching from magnetic stripe cards to chip cards, one issue of concern to many card holders is if they have to pay for the conversion fees because the cost of producing a chip card is much higher than a magnetic stripe card.

Viet Nam currently has about 76 million cards issued by 48 commercial banks, according to central bank's statistics.

Chip cards are believed to help reduce risks of card-related crimes and increase payment safety for customers.

Before the transition, only international debit and credit cards in Viet Nam were using chip technology while all domestic cards, popularly referred to as ‘ATM cards,’ resorted to the decades-old magnetic stripe technology, which is more vulnerable to identity theft./.

By Kim Loan