Bank of America is integrating chip technology into a number of its consumer credit cards (view press release). Through the integration, the bank aims to increase the card’s acceptance and security for international travellers. Credit cards with chip technology, also known as EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) are embedded with a microprocessor chip that encrypts and stores account information. The bank’s new card will continue to ask users to sign for transactions and includes the magnetic stripe used by US merchants.
The bank will include the chip technology in all newly issued Merrill Lynch, US Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards. Existing customers in these card programmes who have been identified as international travellers will be upgraded. The chip will be an optional feature available on request for other credit card programmes, including BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines. As of this week customers can request this option at the banking centre or via phone, and later this year they can request the chip card online.
Earlier in the year, the bank rolled out chip & PIN credit cards to corporate and commercial clients in the US, following last year’s roll out to European corporate and commercial clients.