Bank of America Merrill Lynch is offering chip-and-PIN cards to middle-market U.S. clients and their staff who use credit cards globally.

Chip-and-PIN cards, often referred to as EMV cards due to the common standard for the technology created by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, have gained popularity because the cardholder data stored on the chip is encrypted and the cards are almost impossible to duplicate. Bank of America's latest EMV offering is part of its ongoing effort to roll out EMV in the U.S., according to a company release.

Bank of America first introduced chip-and-PIN technology on corporate travel and expense credit cards in Europe in 2010. Since the bank started issuing chip-enabled purchasing cards in the U.S. in 2013, more than 100,000 chip-and-PIN cards have been issued to middle-market clients.

As clients' employees travel abroad, more and more customers are asking for chip and PIN capability, "not just for their key executives but for their entire employee base," explained Kevin Phalen, head of global card and comprehensive payables in global transaction services, in a press release. "We have directed significant investments into our card platform to meet that demand."

EMV technology is widely adopted across Europe and other regions but "has only recently received traction in the United States," said Dub Newman, head of Global Transaction Services, North America, in the release.

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