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New chip-and-pin card technology arrives in the US

[Tuesday, May 10th, 2011]

Frequent international travelers would have faced the difficulty while making purchases using their standard US credit cards, as most countries outside the US have already switched over from the magnetic swipe cards to the chip-and-pin technology. Hence, instead of the usual swiping and signing while making purchases with the card, the chip-and-pin technology reads the chip and then the customer enters the PIN for verification purposes and this completes the transaction.

Using the magnetic swipe cards can be quite a frustration for international travelers. But that is soon changing as two US banks have already announced that they are switching over to the chip-and-pin technology. While most of Europe has already adopted the new technology, there are many countries throughout Asia as well as South America and Canada that is now changing over. Chase and Wells Fargo are the ones in the US who are beginning these new programs where the cards would be both swipe and chip capable. They are mainly targeting the heavy international travelers who would be the early recipients of this new technology.

Magnetic swipe cards will soon become redundant as the chip technology is being increasingly used across the world. MasterCard, Visa, and Amex are supposed to be accepted worldwide as per their contracts with the merchants. However, despite all this there are constraints while using the card with the magnetic swipe. This situation is bound to get worse as time goes by especially while using cards in trains, gas stations, and at ticket vending machines.

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