MasterCard Canada Extends Timeline for Chip Migration

Canadian merchants have six additional months to upgrade point-of-sale technology

TORONTO, Sept. 24 (AllPayNews) - In response to Canadian market dynamics, MasterCard Canada today announced a six-month extension for Canadian merchants to migrate to chip-and-PIN point-of-sale technology.

The original timeline of October 15, 2010 is now extended to March 31, 2011, at which time MasterCard® accepting merchants who have not upgraded to chip-enabled point-of-sale terminals will be liable for fraudulent transactions effected at their points-of-sale.

"While many merchants have already made the investment in migrating to chip, MasterCard heard through on-going dialogue that some merchants need more time to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals to accept chip-enabled cards," says Oliver Manahan, Vice President, Advanced Payments, MasterCard Canada. "In response, MasterCard is extending the timeline to give them more time to make the necessary infrastructure upgrades."

The migration to chip technology represents a forward-looking evolution of electronic payments systems designed to make an already safe payments system even more secure. While Canadian credit cards have robust security, chip brings additional significant security enhancements to Canadians.

About Chip Cards
Payment card chip technology refers to the computer chip embedded into the front of credit and debit cards. The new chip-enabled cards carry a small computer processor chip with memory, logic and a configuration of software applications, significantly enhancing security and preventing unauthorized use or copying. The chip holds information in an encrypted form and requires the use of a PIN to complete the payment process. Canadian MasterCard cards will also continue to carry magnetic stripes in order to be compatible at all retailers who have yet to upgrade their payment terminals to accept chip cards, as well as in other parts of the world where chip technology is not yet available.

The way a payment card transaction is completed will change, but the card will continue to function as a normal credit card with all the same features and protections consumers now enjoy.

The focus now is on building the infrastructure to issue and process chip cards. Once that is in place, MasterCard will use the chip's greater capacity to carry unique payment applications and custom features.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com. Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.

For further information:
Julie Wilson
MasterCard Canada
416-365-5594 / Julie_Wilson@mastercard.com