JPMorgan Chase is taking a step toward its mobile future with an announcement today that it’s started the process of equipping merchants with newfangled devices that will accept payments both from mobile phone signals as well as cards embedded with computer chips, and the traditional magnetic strips.
Credit cards containing chips are widely used in Europe, and are more secure than those with magnetic strips, notes Reuters. Around 75% of card readers outside the U.S. take cards with embedded chips.
Chase is likely trying to catch up, as it ranked fourth in card processing among U.S. merchants in 2011. It does business both in issuing cards as well as processing transactions.
Currently, no more than 5% of card readers at the point-of-sale in America use the chip method, known as EMV. Both Visa and MasterCard are pushing for the EMV business in the States to discourage counterfeiting.
The new devices from Chase are being called “Future Proof” to advertise how they’ll be able to adapt to any further changes or advances in payment technology, including “open wallets” in mobile phones. The machines will allow customers to quickly pay without waiting to sign a credit card receipt.
“We, and our customers, are not going to be put in the position of playing catch-up,” said Bob Nadeau, group executive for product development at JPMorgan Chase Paymentech processing unit.