Traveling for Americans just got a whole lot easier – U.S. Bank is the first credit card issuer to launch a new credit card that will be accepted wherever you happen to be in the World, thanks to embedded EMV chip technology. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa.
Every year, one of the top complaints of Americans traveling abroad is difficulty using their credit cards. This is due to magnetic strip technology, which is no longer accepted in much of Europe. The new EMV card will feature multiple payment processing channels, such as Visa payWave, EMV chip, and magnetic stripe.
The Magnetic Stripe Problem
Other countries have already been making the transition towards cards with embedded microchips. Common sense tells us that it’s important for Americans to catch up; considering that traveling around foreign countries with a magnetic stripe credit card is more vulnerable to fraudulent charges than ever before. Although card issuers in the US have created various contactless payments options, they are still not up to EMV chip standards. Therefore, abroad travelers often find themselves in many frustrating situations, where European merchants refuse to accept their credit cards.
The New Card
U.S. Bank is set to launch the first dual interface EMV card, called the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa. The card will feature multiple payment processing channels. This should make payment faster and smoother all over the world.
In June, over 20,000 of U.S. Bank’s FlexPerks Visa cardholders will receive the new card, as stated in company’s press release. The issuer plans to expand the card in 2012 to other travel rewards card members.
One of the main differences of the card is cardholders enter a pin code in order to complete a transaction, rather than signing for it, which is pretty similar to a debit card. The information contained in magnetic stripes cards, however, is what makes them more vulnerable to fraud.
Further Microchip Plans
U.S. Bank isn’t alone in their plans to get American credit cards up to par with other countries. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are both in the market for EMV chip technology. Wells Fargo conducted a trial study, in which 15,000 American customers known for international travel received cards with the embedded chips. JPMorgan Chase is also offering cards with the new technology exclusively to its high-end customers this month.