CIBC FirstCaribbean's Broad Street branch. (FILE)
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BARBADOS – Making payments by debit and credit card just got a whole lot easier for customers of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.
The use of chip-enabled cards is becoming more prevalent for Caribbean card holders, and CIBC FirstCaribbean just upped the ante with the provision of Chip & PIN and contactless “smart cards” for its Visa cardholders.
Unlike the traditional magnetic stripe cards, the “smart cards” now have an embedded microchip that generates a unique code with each transaction that cannot be used again. making it difficult to compromise.
The new cards will allow cardholders to tap or wave their bank credit or Visa Debit cards over point-of-sale terminals or readers equipped with the contactless feature in Europe, the United States, Canada and other countries to make small purchases.
Trevor Torzsas, managing director of customer relationship management and strategy at the bank, thinks this is a “significant milestone” as it increases the ease of use of the card for small purchases, while maintaining the security of the card.
Where contactless payment is not an option, CIBC FirstCaribbean cardholders will still be able to make purchases using the new “smart cards”. Customers need not worry if they encounter a terminal that does not have Chip & PIN capability as the cards will carry the traditional magnetic stripe in addition to the new chip. So in essence, the cards can be used at any terminal without concern.
Extra safety features include a new requirement for cardholders to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for validation at chip-enabled terminals when making purchases. This eliminates the need to provide a signature, speeds up payment at the register and provides the cardholder with added protection in the event the card is lost or stolen, as such purchases cannot be completed without their confidential PIN.
Torzsas expressed his excitement at the latest addition to the bank’s card services: “We’ve introduced a series of innovations to our services, including our very popular Mobile Banking app, to give our clients more choice in how they bank and make payments. We have a banking solution that fits everyone’s lifestyle and our “smart cards” will give our cardholders additional comfort that they can make payments in a safe, secure, yet flexible manner.”
New cards will be issued upon the expiration of old ones or when replacing lost or damaged cards. Customers may also request the new card via the usual process at their branch before the expiration of their existing card. (PR/NB)