Canada's Desjardins Group has set a three-year timeframe to prepare for the commercial introduction of chip-based debit and credit cards.
The bank's decision follows a recent announcement from national payments association Interac that the technology required for chip and PIN transactions will be in place by the end of 2006.
Desjardins says it expects the first transactions using its chip cards to be made in 2008.
The new cards will feature both a magnetic strip and a chip so they can be used in areas where smart card technology has not yet been introduced.
Pierre Moran, SVP, Desjardins, says the bank is "actively working on upgrading our equipment as well as our computer systems".
Desjardin had its first taste of chip card technology in 2000 when it tested the Mondex "ecash card" in Sherbrooke.
In November, Scotiabank announced plans to launch Canada's first trial of chip and PIN technology at the retail point of sale.