Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chip Cards for the US? Maybe Not Soon

I saw an interesting post at Glenbrook's Payments News blog that might interest some of you. As most of you know, almost all payment cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc) issued in Europe have an imbedded computer chip. The chip -- hence the term, chip card -- is read at the time of transaction, the cardholder types their PIN (not "PIN number"...) into the terminal, and if all goes well the transaction is approved. American card don't have these chips, but no big deal: the card terminals also have a mag stripe reader so you can buy that nice dinner in Paris or go to the opera in Berlin.

The interesting news is that The European Payments Council is apparently considering a ban on mag stripe cards. Personally, I don't think this will happen anytime soon, or at least I hope not.

The creditcards.com article is a good overview of the situation. If you are interested in chip cards or travel to Europe, you might find it interesting.

So, when do I think the US will go to chip cards like most of the rest of the world? Don't hold your breath for all the reasons spelled out in the article.

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