More Options for EMV Credit Cards
Americans are slowly getting more options for EMV chip credit cards for overseas travel. The EMV (stands for EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) chip has replaced the magnetic stripe in most countries but the United States, and this has created problems for travelers using the magnetic stripe card.
AAA is now offering the chip technology on its credit cards through partner Bank of America. These credit cards are embedded with a microprocessor chip that encrypts and stores account information. Current cardholders can now ask for the chip card option, and it will be available to new cardholders later this year. The card will also contain the magnetic stripe.
This summer, Chase sent chip-and-signature cards to a select group of cardholders who frequently travel outside of the U.S. and are more likely to run into problems with the old magnetic stripe cards. Bank of America began including EMV chips in many of its consumer credit cards targeted at frequent travelers and high net-worth customers.
Visa and MasterCard are pushing to convert the American payment system to EMV by October, 2015. However, upgrading payment registers and processing systems to the new technology is expensive, and merchants seem to be in no hurry to invest in the technology.