Friday, October 5, 2012

Finally - U.S. Chip and Pin Cards

Chip and pin credit cards have a microprocessor ship embedded in the card and when it is read at the point of sale, the customer inputs a PIN. This technology has been used for years in Europe. The idea is to provide better security and reduce the cost, to the banks, of losses due to credit card theft.

Banks in the U.S. didn't follow this trend. From what I understand, the cost of implementing this new technology is more than the cost of losses. However, finally, some U.S. banks are issuing credit cards that have, in addition to the usual magnetic strip, the chip and pin technology.

Bank of America is leading the way. All of its new Travel Rewards, Privileges, Virgin Atlantic and Merrill Lynch credit cards will have the chip and pin. Upon request, B and A will replace several other cards with the technology including affinity cards from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Chase is making the technology available right now only to their Palladium cardholders.

And Wells Fargo has invited 15,000 customers to they have identified as frequent international travelers to take part in a test program.

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