With Chip and PIN EMV cards ubiquitous in almost every other country around the world, US banks (except first Niagara and Target) have taken a contrarian view and implemented EMV with Chip and Signature. The reason? They don’t think Americans can remember a new four-digit code.
First Niagara is one of the largest banks so far to embrace PINs, joining the likes of United Nations Federal Credit Union and United National Corp., which has a subsidiary called First Premier that issues cards to less creditworthy borrowers. Target Corp. plans to include PIN technology on its proprietary credit and debit cards, which can be used only in its stores. The First Niagara decision is drawing rare praise from retail groups, which often clash with the banking industry. “If they are issuing credit cards with chips and PINs, then they deserve kudos from the retailers and consumers everywhere,” said Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Retail Federation, a merchant trade group.