Monday, December 6, 2010
The First So-Called "Smart Cards" Introduced in the US
Travelex, the large money exchange company, has gotten its out first, debuting its card last Wednesday. (I'll note that Mastercard has already announced one for Canada, and, rumor has it, will soon be doing the same for the US).
Not a credit card, but a pre-loaded debit card, the Travelex card is currently being offered only in euros and British pounds. Travelers determine how much they want to put on the card, load it up, pick a PIN number and go. The card can be used at ATM's, and any sorts of kiosks, restaurants, stores and hotels. The cards are being sold at Travelex retail stores as well as online at Travelex.com.
I, for one, applaud this development. Chip and pin cards not only offer vastly greater protection against fraud but they've become the standard not only across Europe but in large swatches of Asia.