ANZ announces chip-enabled credit card technology

The ANZ, Eftpos New Zealand and Visa International yesterday announced a programme to convert ANZ's credit card technology to chip, while American Express launched Australia's first smart credit card using chip technology.

          The ANZ and Visa International yesterday announced a programme to convert ANZ's credit card technology to chip, while American Express launched Australia's first smart credit card using chip technology.

          The ANZ/Visa programme includes making merchant terminals chip-enabled and working with Visa to introduce multi-application chip-based credit cards.

          Visa Australia and New Zealand executive vice president Gordon Wheaton says the move will lay the foundation for the full roll-out of chip-based cards in Australia and New Zealand.

          "Once this infrastructure is in place it will remove one of the most significant barriers to the introduction of chip-based cards. It will also provide customers with the same confidence with shopping on the internet as they have in the real world," he says.

          Meanwhile, 'Blue', the American Express smart card will be accompanied by a website that connects card members to their accounts. As new technology is developed, users will be able to download information onto the chip.

          The clear plastic card has a hologram and chip as well as a magnetic stripe so it can be used regardless of whether the point of sale has a chip reader.

          MasterCard is also focusing on smart cards, with mobile commerce central to its strategy. The company's Australian vice president, John Verco, says authentication is a critical issue, which is why financial institutions focus on what they do best, facilitating and enabling payments.

          "We want 100% of our customers internet-enabled, mobile and equipped with smart cards," he says.

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