Steward Bank is phasing out magnetic stripe cards

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Steward Bank, system upgrade, CEO, Money Transfer Senditoo Thunes

Steward Bank has, in an SMS to customers, announced that it will be phasing out local currency magnetic stripe cards at the end of next month.

“Your ZWL Magstripe card will be phased out effective 30/04/2021. Visit any branch or WhatsApp 0772191191 to have a new Chip & PIN card delivered to you.”

Steward Bank

Magnetic stripe cards were a revolution in the payments space back in the early 70s. The cards offered a secure means of transacting but as with all technologies they quickly get outpaced by new needs and more importantly by advancements made by criminals.

Card fraud, mostly through card skimming or cloning, brought about the need for a more secure way of transacting. Since the information on the back of the magnetic stripe card is static fraudsters are able to get the information from it in much the same way as merchant card readers or POS machines.

To make matters worse, card cloning devices are cheap and are often handheld or implanted in ATMs. Some card cloners have been known to go further by placing cameras in order to get someone’s pin.

In light of this banks made the shift to chip cards which are far more secure than magnetic stripe cards. The chip in an EMV card is far less prone to duplication because of the sophisticated technology required to crack it.

It looks like Steward Bank is ramping up efforts to get customers to switch to chip cards. The bank’s process began in mid-2020 and with cases of card cloning making the rounds Steward Bank has set a hard deadline to induce its customers to make the switch to a more secure transacting platform.

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