Banks and Credit Card Issuers Move Toward Chip and PIN

EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, refers to the chip and PIN credit card technology commonly used in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Credit cards that incorporate an embedded microprocessor chip are far more secure than any other form of credit card currently available, including the standard magnetic striped cards that are all too easy to skim at ATMs and point of sale terminals.

Major banks and retailers are now pushing very hard to make EMV the new standard in the United States. Visa recently announced plans to expand their Technology Innovation Program to the U.S., which will encourage retailers to support cards with microchips by “[eliminating] the requirement for eligible merchants to annually validate their compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard for any year in which at least 75% of the merchant’s Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals.” This will go into effect October 1, 2012 for merchants whose point-of-sale terminals accept both contact and contactless chips.

Meanwhile, Citi has announced the launch of its own Citi Corporate Chip and PIN card, which is designed for U.S. cardholders who travel abroad. Bank of America has made a similar announcement of its expanded credit card technology aimed at international travelers. And Wells Fargo is already testing EMV cards in the United States, with its Visa Smart Card, which includes the traditional magnetic stripe as well as a microprocessor chip, in order to make the cards flexible and useable around the world. Wells Fargo’s pilot program includes 15,000 customers who travel regularly.

With all these major players making significant strides to embrace EMV chip technology, it’s only a matter of time before full adoption becomes inevitable.

Consumers would be smart to take advantage of any pilot program available to them. EMV chip and PIN technology is more secure, and it also works better internationally than the old-school magnetic stripe.

For more information on the benefits of EMV chip technology and to show your support, visit, from JustAskGemalto, to let your voice be heard and share your stories.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto. Disclosures


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