Bank of America Distributes Chip and PIN Debit Cards
Bank of America became the first major U.S. bank to issue chip and PIN debit cards to its customers. The bank already offers EMV credit cards, but will now issue chipped debit cards to customers as their cards expire.
Bank of America is far from the only bank that will be doing this over the course of the next year. Retailers and financial institutions alike have until October 2015 to upgrade their cards to chip and PIN. This is all part of an effort to strengthen credit card security in America and reduce the occurrence of identity theft.
Merchants who fail to upgrade their credit card terminals before the deadline may be liable for any fraud that occurs. This could be extremely costly. But at a cost of $1,000 per terminal, some merchants are struggling to find ways to cover the expense of the conversion.
Chip and PIN cards are more secure than magnetic strip cards because the chips that contain the credit card information are nearly impossible to duplicate. Even if someone manages to replicate the chips, the thief would also need to know a customer’s PIN to use the card. The recent upsurge in data breaches has left America frantically looking for a solution to help protect customers and credit card companies alike.
More banks are soon to follow Bank of America’s example, but chip and PIN cards won’t be effective until merchants are able to upgrade their machines to accept chip and PIN cards.