National Bank of Canada reports first chip and PIN transactions

Source: National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada (Toronto:NA.TO) is proud to announce that it has completed its first national and international transactions with its new credit card with smart card technology.

The purchases were made at POS terminals equipped to handle the new National Bank MasterCard embedded with a chip. A personal identification number (PIN), which replaces the signature, adds an extra level of protection against fraud and counterfeiting.

According to Paolo Pizzuto, Vice-President - Electronic Payment Solutions, "National Bank is right on schedule in implementing the PIN-enabled smart card in Canada. The Bank is constantly striving to enhance the protection of its clients' transactions and the quality of its services. The new National Bank smart card will enable us to raise security standards and provide greater protection to our clients, while ensuring that the card remains easy to use."

With the new smart card, National Bank is looking to further increase client satisfaction and enrich its range of products. A pilot project to be launched in 2008 will help prepare and support the first group of Bank clients who are switched over to the new smart card technology. Over the next few years, National Bank will gradually be replacing its clients' credit and debit cards with PIN-enabled smart cards.

The introduction of smart cards in Canada is the next step in the evolution of debit and credit cards. National Bank has already announced that it will participate in trials with various partners in the Canadian financial industry. Next year, pilot projects will take place in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario and Saint-Jerome, Quebec to test the interoperability of the smart card. This will be the first step in rolling out smart card technology nationwide.

Smart cards will still have a magnetic stripe to provide clients with a secure and reliable payment method in locations where smart cards are not yet accepted. Smart card technology has been in widescale use around the world for more than 10 years, particularly in Europe.

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