Credit Union Issues First American Chip-and-PIN Credit Card
Members of the United Nations Federal Credit Union have become the first recipients of American-issued credit cards featuring "chip-and-PIN" security tools. Although few American merchants have deployed credit card terminals capable of handling chip-and-PIN transactions, most UNFCU cardholders make frequent overseas trips. Combining the traditional magnetic stripe with the latest global transaction security standards will make overseas purchasing faster and more convenient for members, according to UNFCU officials.

In recent years, retailers have made it easy for consumers to swipe magnetic credit cards at the register. However, cheap tools allow identity theives to clone credit card stripes for fraudulent shopping sprees. Meanwhile, European banks adopted embedded smart chips that carry more detailed fraud prevention information. Most overseas banks also require cardholders to enter a PIN for both credit or debit transactions. Trade industry reports indicate that UNFCU manages over $3 billion in deposits for its members, underscoring the importance of its international fraud prevention efforts.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.