Visa Inc. will require that issuers in Australia shift completely to the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specification over the next four years.

The San Francisco payments company this week announced a deadline of April 1, 2013, to implement the security format, after which 100% of Visa cards in Australia must comply with EMV.

Chris Clark, Visa's general manager for Australia and New Zealand, said in a press release that, starting in January, all new Visa credit cards will feature the chip-and-PIN security features that are already widely used in much of Asia and Western Europe.

Matthew Sinclair, the executive director of Carpadium Consulting, said card fraud is relatively low in Australia, which is part of the reason banks there have been a slow to roll out chip-and-PIN systems.

"However, this measure really won't do too much to stop the main fraud point, which is card-not-present fraud," he said. "Chips are great when you have a chip reader at the point of sale, but they don't do too much when you are not at a retail point of sale."

About 37% of the 14 million Visa-branded cards in Australia currently have EMV chips, Visa said.

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