ORONTO, Ontario – Interac Association has joined with MasterCard Canada and Visa Canada to announce a commitment to an industry-wide migration to chip technology. The agreement by the major players is considered a major step in a smooth transition for everyone using the electronic payments system that was announced by Interac in October 2005, when Interac approved the transition schedule. Introduction of the chip cards is expected to begin in 2007. Interac Association is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1984. It has 95 members including: banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires (francophone credit unions), technology and payment related companies. Interac Association was responsible for the development of the national network for two shared electronic financial services: INTERAC Direct Payment, Canada’s national debit card service, and INTERAC Shared Cash Dispensing Service for cash withdrawals at ATMs. Interac considers that chip cards (debit and credit) provide the maximum possible security for the payments industry. Their embedded chip makes counterfeiting and lost and stolen cards almost impossible. The chip speeds up service at the point-of-sale. Canadian consumers will still be able to use their magnetic strip cards in shared cash dispensing ATMs until December 31, 2012 and at point-of-sale devices until Dec. 31, 2015.

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