State Employees' Credit Union (Secu) is set to be one of the first financial institutions in the US to roll out chip and PIN debit cards to its customers.
The non-profit cooperative has enlisted French vendor Oberthur Technologies to help migrate its 1.6 million debit card holders to EMV between March and the end of the year.
Leanne Phelps, SVP, card services, Secu, says: "Secu's goal is to provide products and services which offer enhanced value and protection. The EMV technology enables us to offer members increased fraud protection along with stress-free use of their card worldwide."
Martin Ferenczi, MD, the Americas, card systems, Oberthur, adds: "State Employees' Credit Union is among the first in the country to bring EMV technology to its members - an important step in closing the gap in security payment standards between the US and the rest of the world."
In October, standards body EMVCo revealed that a third of the world's payments cards - around one billion - are now EMV with two thirds of terminals - 15.4 million - also on the standard designed to secure transactions at the point-of-sale.
The US has been the one major player to resist the expensive migration to the standard from mag-stripe cards. However, pressure has been building in recent months, with calls coming from merchants, led by giant Wal-Mart, for its introduction amid fears that international fraudsters will turn their attention to American shores.
These concerns were echoed over the summer when Richard Oliver, a senior official at the US Federal Reserve, expressed alarm that the country is being left isolated by its reliance on mag-stripe cards while the rest of the world migrates to EMV.
Only this week, Oliver's colleague Douglas King warned: "As long as the United States remains a magnetic-stripe country, we'll continue to have the risk for widespread fraud losses from the counterfeiting of magnetic-stripe cards."