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Citi commits to EMV for international travellers

19 July 2011  |  9850 views  |  0 World map digital with numbers

Citi has become the latest US bank to commit to the production of EMV chip cards for customers travelling abroad.

Citi confirmed its plans as it rolled out a new suite of services and rewards offers for its 24-year old AAdvantage credit card portfolio

In a statement, the bank says: "Later this year, Citi plans to introduce the Citi Executive/AAdvantage card with EMV chip card functionality to provide cardmembers with the ability to use a technology that is increasingly important when making credit card purchases abroad."

The bank will be joining a clutch of other US banks who have moved to EMV technology in the face of a growing international switch away from less-secure mag-stripe cards.

In April, Wells Fargo began testing a Visa Smart Card that includes Chip and PIN technology with 15,000 customers who travel internationally.

On the domestic front, the continued reliance on mag-stripe cards by US banks is not only inconveniencing international travellers, it has also become an issue for European banks as criminal gangs use cards skimmed in EU countries to loot accounts in non-EMV-compliant regions such as the US and Africa.

Commenting on the round-up of a cross-continental skimming ring earlier this month, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, said: "This major new criminal phenomenon exposed in this case, with criminals transferring data stolen within the EU to accomplices in countries and regions elsewhere in the world, is of great concern. The financial losses involved harm millions of citizens and the economic interests of many of our banks and businesses."

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