Bank of America Moving Ahead With Smart Cards
The list of big card issuers that has begun issuing more cards with embedded computer chips has grown again with the news that Bank of America has decided to start offering the cards to its cardholders that travel overseas often.
“The new chip-enabled cards will improve convenience and security of customers’ transactions when traveling abroad,” said Consumer and Small Business Products Executive Susan Faulkner. “We want our customers to have the best possible experience while making purchases with their credit cards anywhere in the world.”
The bank will include the chip technology in all newly issued Merrill Lynch credit cards, U.S. Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards.
The bank also will upgrade existing customers in these card programs who have been identified as international travelers, the company said.
In addition, the chip will be an optional feature that cardholders can request for the following credit card programs: BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The move is significant because market observers have said that more issuers nationwide will begin moving toward issuing chip-embedded cards, which are more expensive to issue, only after large issuers begin to make them more widely available.
Several credit unions also have begun offering the EMV cards.