Is there any way of knowing is a credit/debit card has an EMV Chip, by reading the magnetic stripe. This way I could deny the payment via magnetic stripe and ask to the customer to insert the card via EMV.

How would it be possible or why it can't be done?

4 Answers 4


The service code on the stripe data will notify you it is a chip capable card and you should use this to prompt for card insertion. US is using the first digit of 2 or 6 to signify a chip card.

Magnet Strip Card:

Service code values common in financial cards:

First digit

1: International interchange OK

2: International interchange, use IC (chip) where feasible

5: National interchange only except under bilateral agreement

6: National interchange only except under bilateral agreement, use IC (chip) where feasible

7: No interchange except under bilateral agreement (closed loop)

9: Test


No. There is no field on either track 1 or track 2 to indicate if the card is EMV capable. There is nothing that would prevent the card issuers from doing that but they haven't.


It is very possible that your merchant agreement with the major networks, prohibits you from requesting a customer use EMV chip even if you could identify them. It may sounds silly but the major credit card networks don't want anything which might disrupt the frequency that consumers use credit cards. This is the same reason banks have been dragging their feet on EMV so long that most of the third world has been using EMV regularly and US consumers are only getting EMV capable cards now. The merchant agreements are structured to ensure there is no friction that might reduce customer usage; "well that was a pain, maybe I should just pay by cash next time".

  • And do you think is there another way for me to take the decisition to ask for EMV validation? I was thinking like verifying the country or the card issuer and with that information take the decisition.
    – Emilio
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:41
  • Isn't there? I remember coming back to France from a trip abroad and swiping my (chip) card by force of habit, and the machine wouldn't take it. That might be a France-specific thing though, or maybe it went out of habit (that was a long time ago, back when very few countries had chip cards). Jul 2, 2015 at 21:26
  • I just went to walmart with my chipped AmEx and swiped it at the checkout out of habit (and lack of support on the business end). Machine immediately rejected it and asked that I insert my card instead of swiping. Jul 3, 2015 at 15:10
  • 1
    Both of those examples are where your card provider has now REQUIRED you use the chip over swipe when suitable POS hardware exists. That isn't the scenario the OP is trying to solve and it does not involve the magnetic stripe it involves a failed authorization response code from the issuing bank which the POS terminal puts into nice English terms "Please insert card instead". If all card issuers were enforcing that (and they eventually will) the OP wouldn't have a problem however that isn't the case. I have an EMV card, works in EMV mode but I can still swipe it even at an EMV terminal. Jul 3, 2015 at 17:07
  • > "maybe I should just pay by cash next time". Good idea. Until cash will be completely abolished... Well I can tell that in Brazil you cannot pay in any restaurant or shop if your card does not have a chip. It should be like that in all the world. The magnetic stripe is from the stone age. It is a shame that it is still allowed to use it!
    – Elmue
    Oct 11, 2017 at 4:03

Yes, this is called the service code. Its the number in bold below, 101 can be swiped and does not have a chip, while code 201 will not allow a swipe unless the payment device is unable to accept chips.
Track 1: B4000340000000502^John/Doe ^22251010000123000
Track 2: 4000340000000502=2225101123400001230

SC: Service Code. 3 digits:

Digit 1 (most significant): Interchange and technology:
1: Available for international interchange.
2: Available for international interchange and with integrated circuit, which should be used for the financial transaction when feasible.
5: Available for national interchange only, except under bilateral agreement.
6: Available for national interchange only, except under bilateral agreement, and with integrated circuit, which should be used for the financial transaction when feasible.
7: Not available for general interchange, except under bilateral agreement.
9: Test.

Digit 2: Authorization processing:
0: Transactions are authorized following the normal rules.
2: Transactions are authorized by issuer and should be online.
4: Transactions are authorized by issuer and should be online, except under bilateral agreement.

Digit 3: Range of services and PIN requirements:
0: No restrictions and PIN required.
1: No restrictions.
2: Goods and services only (no cash).
3: ATM only and PIN required.
4: Cash only.
5: Goods and services only (no cash) and PIN required.
6: No restrictions and require PIN when feasible.
7: Goods and services only (no cash) and require PIN when feasible.


From my understanding there are 3 tracks on a card.

Forget track 3 as it is not/hardly used.

Swipe and sign cards (without EMV) have just track 1:


EMV cards have track 2, which is just a copy of track 1, but without the first and second name in the middle:


  • This answer is complete nonsense.
    – Elmue
    Oct 11, 2017 at 4:01

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