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June 10, 2011

  • News:  US Bank Roles Out EMV Credit Card 

    Long awaited cutting edge credit card technology has emerged onto the United States scene. Although slow to embrace it, banks have begun to introduce the newest technology called EMV which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Also known as "chip and PIN" technology, EMV and often referred to as "contactless" payment. It is considered contactless because the a small chip that is embedded in the credit card allows the cardholder to simply wave the card over a special card reader during the payment process without physical contact with the card. There are a number of different versions of the technology; some require a unique PIN be texted to the cardholder which would be required in order to finalize the process. Contactless technology has been embraced by many European countries; however, the U.S. has been more hesitant to run with it. Most recently, U.S. Bank along with Visa and Oberthur Technologies announced the release of its version of the contactless credit card technology.

    Taking it one step further, U.S. Bank's credit card system combines the technologies of Visa PayWave, EMV technology and the traditional magnetic strip. Unlike single function EMV cards, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa does not have the limitation of most chip and PIN technology that prevents "card not present" (CNP) phone or online transactions. U.S. Bank is offering Americans its new FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa credit card to those who want to enjoy such travel perks as sign-on bonus FlexPoints and blackout dates or fees when redeeming points. With the new EMV card, cardholders can shop online, pay for services and purchases at the point-of-sale whether or not the merchant is equipped with the special card reading equipment that is necessary for chip and PIN technology.

    It is estimated that more than one billion EMV technology credit cards are in circulation across the globe and outside the U.S. Although the technology is fairly new, it has been shown to be useful in reducing fraud. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa is the first of its kind to be introduced into the U.S. The new cards which will carry the brand names U.S. Bank and Visa will be manufactured by Oberthur. The bank expects to begin rolling out the program later this month beginning with approximately 20,000 and expects to expand the program further over the next year.

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