The pilot is the industry’s first chip program by a national bank and includes 15,000 Wells Fargo consumer credit card customers who travel internationally.
EMV has been widely adopted across Europe and many other international markets, where mag-stripe cards are becoming rare. But U.S. has yet to see large scale roll-out as the card fraud level (especially the counterfeit cards) remains relatively low here. However, there are increasing reports about U.S. consumer’s unpleasant experiences attempting to use mag-stripe cards at overseas markets where merchants demand chip and pin. The U.S. banking industry has started to seriously consider EMV, at least in niche consumers segments such as those who travel frequently overseas, including the neighbor across the border in the North –Canada.
“By combining traditional magnetic stripe along with the EMV chip technology, we hope our customers will have the convenience to use their credit card no matter where they are in the world.” said Eric Schindewolf, vice president of product development for Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Card.
The EMV cards, personalization and fulfillment services were provided by Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), a worldwide leader in smart card technology offering full service, quick turn EMV solutions. Visa provided Wells Fargo technical and product support to ensure the program meets EMV standards and enables both signature and PIN-based cardholder verification for greater cardholder flexibility.