Chip-and-PIN in the US

This item appears on page 4 of the October 2012 issue.

Years after their counterparts in much of the world, some US banks have begun issuing credit cards that, in addition to the magnetic stripe, have “chip-and-PIN” technology, enhancing security. (A microprocessor chip is embedded in the card, and when it is read at the point of sale, the customer inputs a personal identification number.)

Bank of America is leading the changeover. All of its new BankAmerica Travel Rewards, BankAmerica Privileges, Virgin Atlantic and Merrill Lynch credit cards will be chip-and-PIN cards. B of A, upon request, will also replace several of their other cards with chip-and-PIN cards, among them Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line cards issued through B of A.

Chase is making chip-and-PIN cards available to their Palladium cardholders only.

Wells Fargo is inviting 15,000 of its customers who they have identified as frequent international travelers to take part in a trial program.