Canadian banking group Desjardins has recruited Montreal-based GFI Solutions to help it switch from magnetic strip to EMV smart cards.
Desjardins said in April that is had set a three-year timeframe to prepare for the commercial introduction of chip-based debit and credit cards after Canada's payments association Interac stated that the technology required for chip and PIN transactions will be in place by the end of 2006.
The bank has signed a three-year deal with GFI for the supply of consulting and support services to help it in the move to EMV smart cards.
GFI says the Desjardins contact, which is renewable after three years, is worth "several million dollars".
The firm says its EMV Business Practice team will be involved with this project, which will entail significant modifications to the Desjardins integrated payment solution (SPID) at all levels - development, deployment, certification and operations.
Dejardins also operates around 3000 ATMs which will all be upgraded to the EMV standard.
Gilles Létourneau, President of GFI Solutions, says the migration to EMV standard is of utmost importance to financial institutions: "It will ensure the high level of security that consumers and retailers are looking for, and will lay a strong foundation for the future growth of electronic payment services."