The U.S. migration to EMV is far away, but U.S. travelers' EMV options are growing close to home.
Fidelity National Information Services Inc., or FIS, on April 10 announced an instant-issue reloadable prepaid EMV card designed for smaller banks and credit unions interested in providing their customers with a chip-and-PIN card they can use abroad where the EMV standard dominates.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based processor is offering the MasterCard-branded FIS Travel EMV Card equipped with both a magnetic stripe and an EMV chip. The card may be swiped for transactions at any non-EMV point-of-sale terminal, and it requires an FIS-issued PIN to authenticate any transaction through an EMV-equipped terminal, FIS says.
Cardholders may load funds to the card account through Green Dot reload locations, at the branch where the card is issued, or through the bank's FIS-hosted website, if enabled, the firm says.
Most large U.S. banks within the past year have announced the availability of EMV credit cards for frequent travelers, with most consumer cards leaning toward a chip-and-signature approach and commercial cards going the chip-and-PIN route (see story).
FIS says its new product is the first to provide a complete EMV offering banks may offer customers through branches.
But FIS is not the first to market prepaid EMV cards.
Travelex Currency Services Inc. in late 2010 began selling prepaid EMV cards directly to U.S. consumers through its stores, expanding distribution to online channels last year (see story).
"While other companies have processed EMV-ready cards, we believe this is the first turnkey [product] providing prepaid EMV cards for a financial institution to resell," Brad Potter, senior vice president, FIS EFT Solutions, tells PaymentsSource via email.
FIS is providing banks with branch marketing materials, embossed chip-equipped EMV cards, card packaging, online sales tools and support, Potter says.
"The financial institution is not required to establish as extensive an internal support system for the EMV card program as with debit or credit cards," Potter notes.
So far "small and medium-sized banks and credit unions" have expressed interest in offering customers a prepaid EMV card, he says.
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