The nation's second largest credit union has become the second CU in the country to put computer chips into its credit or debit cards.
Last May, United Nations Federal Credit Union, headquartered in New York, announced that it was adding chip and PIN technology, known as EMV technology in Europe, to its credit cards.
UN FCU said it did it both to increase the security of its credit cards and to empower its heavily international field of membership to more easily use their cards in countries that have become dominated by chip and PIN.
Chip and PIN systems use an embedded microchip in the card as well as a personal identification number to validate transactions instead of a signature. The system used in the United States relies on a magnetic stripe to hold card data that is used to make the transaction.
The $21.4 billion dollar SECU cited improving card security as the chief reason for the change that the CU said would take most of 2011 to accomplish. SECU has 1.6 million debit card users.
"SECU's goal is to provide products and services which offer enhanced value and protection. The EMV technology enables us to offer members increased fraud protection along with stress-free use of their card worldwide," said Leanne Phelps, senior vice president of SECU's card service department.