JPMorgan Chase will be offering to chip-and-PIN credit cards later this year as a part of a company effort to reduce card fraud. Company CEO Eileen Serra announced the change on Tuesday at Chase's investor conference.
EMV chip cards (for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) contain a tiny computer chip that encrypts transaction data uniquely each time it is used. This makes it nearly impossible for fraudsters to create counterfeit cards. Chip cards are also widely used abroad.
Chip cards come in two varieties: one that requires a PIN to complete a transaction and one that only requires a signature. The difference is similar to how many debit card purchases require a PIN while credit card transactions often need only a signature to complete the transaction in the U.S.
Chip cards with PINs, or chip-and-PIN cards, are more protected if the card is lost or stolen and someone tries to use it fraudulently. That's because it's easier to forge a signature than to guess someone's PIN.
Currently, Chase offers EMV chip-and-signature versions of the following credit cards:
- British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Hyatt Credit Card
- J.P. Morgan Palladium Card
- J.P. Morgan Select Visa Signature Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Several other U.S. issuers offer chip-and-PIN cards for some of their credit cards. Bank of America and several credit unions offer chip-and-PIN cards, while Citi and Wells Fargo offer the option of entering a PIN if the retailer supports it. U.S. Bank offers only chip-and-signature cards.
Chase's announcement comes after a major card hack at Target over the holidays. Fraudsters picked up data from 40 million debit cards and credit cards, along with personal information from up to 70 million individuals. Neiman Marcus, Michaels and White Lodging -- which manages major hotel chains -- also disclosed card breaches in the last two months.
Will you get a Chase chip-and-PIN card? Do you want one?
Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.