TORONTO, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 24, 2003–Canada is joining the global migration to a new generation of Visa cards containing a chip with a microcomputer, Visa Canada announced today.
The Visa chip card is capable of supporting multiple applications and data securely, and can make cardholder-specific decisions such as approving or declining transactions without unnecessary communications expense.
“Much of the world has made significant progress in transitioning their Visa cards, merchant equipment and payment card systems over to this advanced technology,” said Derek Fry, Visa Canada Association President. “We are pleased that Canadians will soon begin to enjoy the substantial benefits that Visa chip cards will bring to our payment card market.”
Chip Cards – Tried and Tested
Chip cards have been in use in Canada for a number of years, particularly in telephone cards used in payphones. All Visa cards in France have been equipped with chip technology since 1992.
Approximately 60 million Visa EMV chip cards are in use around the world and millions more Visa EMV chip cards are being issued every month. There are major conversion programs underway in Europe and Asia. In line with the rest of the world, Visa chip cards in Canada will employ the global standard, EMV, to ensure that Canadian Visa cards work at all Visa merchants around the world.
Benefits of Chip Technology
“Chip technology will offer greater convenience to consumers, provide added protection to merchants, enhance the Canadian payment card system, and provide future services we can only begin to imagine,” Fry said.
Chip technology can securely store and encrypt confidential information. The chip is virtually impossible to copy and has the power to be programmed with spending and usage limits making it possible to authorize transactions off-line. Chip technology will enable a host of additional features including a choice of applications such as loyalty, access control, rewards, and public transit passes.
One significant improvement for the consumer will be the use of a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the point of sale rather than a signature. In a survey conducted in January 2003, 61 percent of Canadians said they would prefer entering a PIN at the point of sale.
Visa Canada Member financial institutions will implement chip at their own pace. It is expected that within seven years, almost every Visa card in Canada will feature chip technology and most merchants will have the equipment to accept and fully benefit from these cards.
Visa Canada will continue to work with stakeholders who have an interest in the payment card business and our chip migration program. Our intent is to help all parties make the transition to chip technology smooth by giving them the support and information they need. In this respect Visa will draw on its extensive experience from chip implementations around the world.