CIBC FirstCaribbean introduces ‘smart cards’

CIBC FirstCaribbean has provided chip and PIN and “contactless” card payment smart cards to its Visa cardholders. The new cards allow cardholders to tap or wave their bank credit or Visa debit cards over point of sale terminals or readers equipped with the contactless feature, in Europe, the U.S., Canada and other countries to make small purchases.

Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the smart cards have an embedded microchip which generates a unique code with each transaction that cannot be used again, making it difficult to compromise.

Trevor Torzsas, managing director of Customer Relationship Management and Strategy at the bank, noted the “significant milestone,” which increases the ease of use of the card for small purchases, while maintaining the security of the card.

Where contactless payment is not an option, CIBC FirstCaribbean cardholders will still be able to make purchases using the smart cards. The cards still have a magnetic stripe in addition to the new chip, so they can be used at any type of terminal.

Extra safety features include a new requirement for cardholders to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for validation at chip-enabled terminals when making purchases. This eliminates the need to provide a signature, speeds up payment at the register and provides the cardholder with added protection if the card is lost or stolen, as purchases cannot be completed without the confidential PIN, the bank said.

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