A throng of European banks will announce tommorrow a scheme to move all their credit and debit cards to chip based smartcards by 2001.
The scheme will include all the high street banks in the UK, plus all the major banks in continental Europe, Tony Moretta, head of Visa Cash at Visa Europe told VNU Newswire today. It has taken some time for smartcard technology to catch on for cash transactions, but widespread acceptance of smartcards would be one step closer with the unanimous support of all the major European banks.
Under a new standard, the banks will commit to migrating all their credit and debit cards to chip cards by October 2001.
The new chip card will be based on the Europay Mastercard Visa standard (EMV), which will ensure that chip cards issued by any financial institition in the world can be used in any terminal. This new specification also defines how a chip based credit or debit payment transaction should operate.
Banks in the UK will begin to issue cards based on the specification later this year. Tony Moretta, head of Visa Cash at Visa Europe, said the announcement is putting in place a "chip highway" which will be the first step to widespread smartcard use.
Mondex however is not yet part of this ambitious project - according to Visa the offer was open for Mondex to take part but it has refused. Europay, another Visa smartcard competitor, is a key partner in the project.
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