Credit Cards

Chip-and-PIN cards

A type of “smart card,” chip-and-PIN cards use computer chips to store and process information instead of, or in addition to, a magnetic stripe. A personal identification number (PIN) is required at point of sale to verify the cardholder’s identity. The technology has replaced old-style magnetic stripes in Europe and has been adopted in much of the world. The United States card industry instead chose to move mainly to chip-and-signature technology, which uses the cardholder’s signature as its additional means of verification.