Butterfield credit cards to get Chip and PIN technology
by Rebecca Zuill
The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited yesterday announced that it has introduced Bermuda's first ‘Chip and PIN' credit cards. Chip and PIN cards feature an embedded, encrypted microchip for data storage that is nearly impossible to replicate, which enhances fraud and counterfeit protection.
The Bank said that the new technology is first being introduced in the Butterfield / AAdvantage® MasterCard® Black, Butterfield AAdvantage® Platinum MasterCard®, and the Butterfield British Airways Platinum Visa Credit Cards — the cards that have the highest volume of overseas purchase activity — and will be implemented across the Bank's full line of credit cards over the next 12 months.
Their release explains that to make purchases at merchants who are equipped with point-of-sale (‘POS') terminals that support Chip and PIN technology, cardholders insert their cards at the register into the Chip-enabled POS devices and then confirm the transaction amounts and provide authorisation by entering their Personal Identification Numbers, or ‘PIN's, on a keypad. With Chip and PIN transactions, credit cards are never out of the possession or sight of cardholders, minimising the risk of card skimming.
While most overseas merchants in Europe, Canada, Central America and South America are equipped with POS terminals that support Chip and PIN transactions, the majority of Bermuda merchants are not currently so equipped. Butterfield Merchant Services will be working with retailers on the island to upgrade their equipment.
In the meantime, Butterfield Chip and PIN Cards will continue to be issued with magnetic stripes and can be used for local purchases via traditional signature authorisation-based transactions.
Peter Jackson, senior vice president, group head of card services at Butterfield was quoted as saying: “Chip and PIN technology is now becoming the industry norm for credit card transactions in most of the world, which is likely evident to anyone who's travelled and done any shopping in Europe or Canada recently. You occasionally get some puzzled looks from cashiers overseas when you hand them a credit card without a Chip; it takes them a minute to remember how to process a signature-based magnetic stripe card.”
“Consumers shouldn't worry that their magnetic stripe cards are not safe — they are, and Butterfield systems and personnel continue to monitor your transactions for potential fraud and verify suspicious transactions — but Chip Cards provide even more security. Butterfield is pleased to be the first bank in Bermuda to provide this enhanced technology and protection to our customers.”
Butterfield has started issuing Chip Cards for new AAdvantage MasterCard Platinum and Black and British Airways Visa Platinum accounts. In October, the Bank will begin issuing replacements for existing cards within the Chip and PIN card portfolio.
The bank stated that PINs will be mailed separately for security purposes.
“Platinum and Black Card Customers who are travelling overseas and wish to obtain Chip and PIN Cards to replace their www.butterfieldgroup.com existing Cards earlier should visit the Electronic Banking department at Butterfield's Reid Street Banking Centre in Hamilton.”