Canada's national payments association Interac is to kick off full-scale trials of chip and PIN technology for debit payments in Ontario later this month.
The major credit card companies, financial institutions, payment processors and merchants will all take part in the trial in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario.
Interac says migration to chip and PIN technology in Canada will take a number of years. The association has set up deadlines for the industry and says all ATMs in the country must be chip and PIN compliant by 31st December 2012, while all merchant terminals must be compliant by 31st December 2015.
Chip cards will continue to carry the magnetic stripe to allow cardholders to use their debit cards in other countries that do not use chip technology.
The chip and PIN technology is being introduced to tackle card skimming fraud. The technology is already in place in other areas of the world, including Britain which implemented the system in February 2006.
However, although skimming fraud dropped sharply following the roll out of the technology in the UK, other card crime such as card-not-present fraud and cross border card fraud jumped.