Israel’s economy is going through an accelerated process making it possible to carry out secure and smart transactions at merchants using payment cards, mobile phones or wearable devices (such as watches and gadgets that can be put on) by adopting the EMV standard. In line with the timetables set by the Bank of Israel, in recent months consumers have been seeing an increasing number of payment terminals operating with the advanced technology and are finding that this method provides an advanced and easy to implement payment experience. By the end of November 2020, the final date for switching the large chains to the new standard, consumers will encounter this payment method very frequently.

 Supervisor of Banks Yair Avidan said, “The switch to the smart payment method is a significant milestone in the development of the payments market in Israel. This method is convenient, user-friendly, and safer, and marks a real innovation for the economy. This infrastructure will make it possible to bring in new means of payment, such as electronic wallets that will be operated via smart phones. The Bank of Israel will continue to promote innovation in the payment market in Israel for the public good.”

 Bank of Israel directives establish obligatory timetables for switching to the new standard, until it is implemented throughout the entire economy. Merchants that do not work to shift in time, in accordance with the established timetables, are liable to encounter difficulties in honoring payment cards after the dates set in the directives.

 As such, businesses are to work already to carry out the shift now, and not wait until the last minute. It is important to know that until the end of September 2020, small businesses can use the grants provided for this by the government.[1]

 Regarding the method of payment, in most cases, when carrying out smart transactions at businesses using the physical payment card, a secret PIN must be entered (the same code used to withdraw cash from ATMs) for verification and identification. Customers can change their personal secret code for the payment card to any other code, which is easy for them to remember.

 For transactions up to NIS 300, with cards that support it, contactless (proximity) transactions can be executed, meaning placing the card close to the device at the business, without keying in the secret code.

 We urge customers to verify that they remember their secret code, and to consider if they want to adjust the PIN code on their own, through a simple and user-friendly process. Extensive information on the switch to the smart payment method and other frequently asked questions can be found on the website (in Hebrew).