Chase and British Airways have introduced a new co-branded credit card embedded with chip technology that will make it easier for U.S. travelers to use.
A chip-based Chase and British Airways card would not be a traditional swipe card. Rather, owners of the card would make payments by inserting it into a slot, and then completing the transaction by entering a PIN.
The smart-chip technology, already widely used outside the U.S., could also reportedly help to reduce fraud. But new chip-based cards can be hijacked by scammers as well. As we reported earlier this year, cards with a computer chip are convenient, but are also vulnerable to being skimmed without ever leaving your pocket. However, when New York City police and prosecutors recently charged more than 100 people in what they termed the largest identity theft bust in U.S. history, they blamed U.S. credit card issuers for relying on outdated technology that makes American cardholders especially vulnerable to thieves.
At the time of the New York bust, the American Bankers Association told news outlets that U.S. banks were reluctant to issue cards with chips because it would require retailers to make expensive upgrades to their payment systems. According to the Associated Press, Chase introduced two other high-end cards with chip technology earlier this year, the J.P. Morgan Select card ($95 annual fee after first year), and the Palladium card ($595 annual fee). In addition, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are reportedly in the midst of testing their own such smart cards.
Chase rolls out credit card with chip technology for travelers [Associated Press via Washington Post]
British Airways and Chase give Americans Chip-and-PIN [Examiner.com]
Finally! A Chip-and-Pin Option for U.S. Cardholders [SmarterTravel.com]