CU clients of Fiserv may soon be able to offer their members personalized smart chip cards, according to an announcement from the technology firm.
EMV or smart chip cards rely on an embedded micro processing chip and personal identification number to sharply cut the risks of fraud from fraudulent cards manufactured with stolen card data. They have already become the industry standard in Europe and other places overseas.
"As the U.S. payments industry looks for ways to minimize card-related fraud loss and comply with new data security standards, EMV provides a next-generation alternative to magnetic stripe bank cards," said Jorge Diaz, president, Output Solutions for Fiserv.
The EMV chip requires the merchant terminal to provide a PIN before it allows the card data to be read. Once the PIN is entered and verified, the smart card chip authorizes payment. According to EMVCo, the organization responsible for managing the EMV specifications globally, approximately one billion EMV cards have been issued worldwide and 15.4 million point-of-sale terminals accept EMV cards.
"Increasingly, U.S. travelers abroad find that their magnetic stripe bank cards are rejected," said Diaz. "This leads to embarrassing and compromising situations that can now be avoided with EMV chip cards. Along with greater convenience and merchant acceptance, cardholders may also benefit from reduced card fraud."
The adoption of dual-interface chip technology also helps prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of near-field communication mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale.
"Fiserv is committed to delivering the payments technology that our clients want now, while anticipating what they will need in the future," said Diaz. "In 2012, Fiserv will also implement solutions to process EMV transactions."
Visa announced a program of incentives designed to help the U.S. payments industry move to EMV cards as an industry standard by the middle of the decade.