If you are planning a trip to Europe or somewhere else overseas you may want to leave your credit card at home.

Many countries and regions are shifting to Chip and PIN technology including western Europe, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and China, to name a few. Chip and PIN is a standard backed by the United Kingdom to promote the use of technology that will provide customers with a more secure way of paying for goods. As mentioned above this form of technology is quickly gaining popularity in other countries, causing more and more issues for U.S. travelers.

Why U.S. Cards Aren’t Compatible

Chip and PIN cards work by using smartcard technology that replaces the magnetic strip on the back of traditional credit cards with a microchip. In order to confirm your identity when making a purchase, a personal identification number must be entered.

The reason for the modification is the development of black market technology that can read and write the standard magnetic strips, making replication easy.

Although U.S. cards are not compatible with Chip and PIN technology, sales clerks should still be able to process payments, according to Visa. The problem is that automated kiosks are unable to read magnetic striped cards, and many unattended pay stations are currently popping up in Europe.

U.S. Behind The Times

It is strange to think that other countries have better credit card technology considering the U.S. has invested so much in its own technology, but therein lies the problem: The U.S. has put so much money into credit card technology that it would cost too much to switch to the new system.

What to Do?

There are limited options when it comes to using alternate means of payment. There is always the cash route, but understandably travelers are hesitant to carry cash around with them. Another option, limited to iPhone users, is to pay with your phone. Just keep an eye out for suspicious people and be prepared if your card doesn’t work.

Safe travels from MyBankTracker.com.

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