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.