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Travelex US issues Chip and PIN foreign currency cash card

02 December 2010  |  10572 views  |  2 card chip

Travelex has introduced a pre-paid foreign currency Chip and PIN card denominated in euros and pound sterling for US travellers abroad.

The card provides technological compatibility with European ATM and merchant eftpos systems, an issue that has frustrated US travellers bound by US banks' reliance on mag-stripe technology.

Aite Group last year estimated that nearly 10 million Americans experienced problems using their credit cards abroad in 2008 alone, a majority of which changed their behaviour as a result.

The new Travelex card requires a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete chip-based transactions, and also includes a traditional magnetic stripe, for those merchants not yet using chip & PIN technology.

"There is a growing demand from the American traveler for technology compatible with what merchants are utilising abroad," says Jon Dario, president of Travelex Currency Services. "Much of the global market has already moved away from magnetic-stripe cards. Travelex's new chip & PIN cards offered in euro and British pound sterling will provide the same level of technical compatibility for US travelers that many other international travelers currently enjoy."

In February, French smart card manufacturer Gemalto unveiled a dual interface EMV chip payments card for US banks to issue to customers travelling abroad.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 02 December, 2010, 16:55

I imagine this will be very welcome news to US travellers. In a recent poll we ran at the BAI RDS event in the US, 57% of respondents, who were primarily from North American financial institutions, admitted problems resulting from cardholders experiencing difficulties using their cards overseas. EMV can be a big help to overcoming these issues as it is the common standard in so many countries.

EMV has got such a wide adoption around the world that I think we will start to see more and more stories of this type, to help fill a significant gap in the offerings of many US financial institutions.

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Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 02 December, 2010, 20:43

Hats off to Travelex who have managed to produce a product ahead of all the US banks. They must be pretty pleased with themselves. I do appreciate the irony, you know, EMV being developed by Visa and MasterCard - two American corporations - and EMV not yet adopted by the American banks. US citizens must feel like economic migrants when they travel to Europe.

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