CHARLOTTE, NC - Bank of America announced earlier this week that it is rolling out EMV chip technology on many of its consumer credit cards. The bank said the chip technology would increase acceptance and security of the cards for international travelers.
Most countries outside the U.S. have already converted from magnetic stripe to EMV technology, which uses an embedded microprocessor chip that encrypts account information. The new chip-enabled cards will include the traditional magnetic stripe, which is used by U.S. merchants.
"The new chip-enabled cards will improve convenience and security of customers' transactions when traveling abroad," said consumer and small business products executive Susan Faulkner. "We want our customers to have the best possible experience while making purchases with their credit cards anywhere in the world."
Cards affected include all newly issued Merrill Lynch credit cards, U.S. Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards. The bank also will upgrade existing customers in these card programs who have been identified as international travelers, and the chip will be an optional feature that cardholders can request for the following credit card programs: BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Earlier this year, Bank of America began rolling out chip and PIN credit cards to corporate and commercial clients in the U.S., which followed last year's release of chip and PIN cards to corporate and commercial clients in Europe.