Banks prepare for switch to smart cards
BANKS will be ready to start switching customers to more secure smart cards from traditional credit cards in the next few months.
Banks are either entering, or have concluded, the final testing phase before starting to distribute the new cards to customers.
Absa, one of the leaders in the move to the new technology, had already distributed a limited number of cards to customers, mostly staff, who had been using the new cards for more than a year already, group payment systems GM Walter Volker said yesterday.
He said Absa would start distributing the cards to a wider customer base in the next two to three months.
Nedbank, which was previously believed to have been lagging behind its rivals, along with First National Bank (FNB), said it was now on an equal footing with the other banks and its software was in the final stages of testing.
FNB said it would start issuing the smart cards to customers in the second half of the year, as many of its cards were up for renewal then.
The new smart cards, which contain microchips, have been developed to global Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standards.
Credit cards will now require a PIN code, similar to debit cards, which means a card should not leave a customer