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Banks updating ATMs to take chip cards

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank has begun to upgrade its 9,000 ATMs — including about 650 in Pennsylvania — to comply with new security standards for debit cards.

The enhanced security features reflect new security standards related to the introduction of the chip-carrying Europay, MasterCard and Visa, or EMV, card.

Upgrades, which should be complete by mid-September, according to bank officials, will allow PNC ATMs to read chip cards.

ATMs are the latest point at which credit card companies are shifting fraud liability. Last year, credit card companies shifted liability for fraudulent purchases from themselves to retailers that had not added card-reading devices that are EMV-enabled.

On Oct. 1, MasterCard will transfer liability for fraudulent ATM transactions to ATM owners. Visa will follow in October 2017, according to PNC officials.

Other banks plan to upgrade their ATMs or already have. Wells Fargo Bank spokesman James Baum said the bank’s ATMs have been chip-enabled since 2014. M&T Bank spokesman Philip Hosmer said the bank expects to update its 1,800-plus ATMs with the chip-card technology by Oct. 1.

The EMV, or “chip,” cards, are harder to counterfeit than traditional cards with a magnetic stripe, according to Ken Justice, senior vice president and ATM executive for PNC.

In addition to security upgrades to read chip cards, PNC also is adding protective keypad shields to hide PIN number as customers enter them.

Michael Sadowski

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