Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that JPMorgan Chase's EMV card for U.S. customers uses a PIN.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Thursday it will issue EMV credit cards to U.S. customers in June, making it the second bank to bet that this technology, commonplace in Europe, will finally take hold here.
The cards are commonly called chip and PIN because they often use a PIN, which the chip verifies, to improve security over magnetic stripe cards. Wells Fargo & Co. announced Wednesday it would begin issuing 15,000 cards with the technology to U.S. residents this year. JPMorgan Chase's version is signature-only.
Like Wells, JPMorgan Chase said it will focus first on customers who frequently travel abroad, where merchants and issuers have been quicker to adopt the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications. Both banks said their cards would also contain the traditional magnetic stripe found on U.S. cards today to ensure customers can still make "signature" purchases at domestic merchants, who for the most part have not upgraded to payment terminals that can handle EMV cards.
"The addition of chip-and-signature technology enables Chase cardmembers to enjoy simplified transactions in Europe, such as seamlessly using point of sale kiosks and train ticket turnstiles the same way the locals can, with the added piece of mind of secure transactions," David Porter, the general manager of card services at JPMorgan Chase, said in a press release.
EMV cards store a cardholder's information on an embedded chip, making it more difficult for hackers to access than the data on mag-stripe cards.
JPMorgan Chase said it plans to offer the feature first on its Palladium credit card, which is geared toward international travelers, and later on its other credit cards.
Travelex Currency Services Inc. began issuing chip-and-PIN prepaid cards in foreign currencies at 180 U.S. retail locations in late 2010 with plans to expand the offering to its retail banking partners. A few smaller financial institutions in the U.S. also offer the cards, including United Nations Federal Credit Union.