Canadian Chip Card Market Trial A Success

    KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Members of the payment card
industry - Interac Association, MasterCard Canada, Inc., Visa Canada and many
of their respective card issuers and payment processors - today released
positive insight and observations from the industry trial of chip technology
being conducted in Kitchener-Waterloo.
    Chip technology is a new generation of payment cards which contain
embedded microchips giving debit and credit cards the ability to securely
store and process transaction information, making an already safe payment
system even more secure.
    "The chip trial allowed participants to assess customer and merchant
communications and monitor awareness and adoption of chip technology," said
Tracey Black, program director, Kitchener-Waterloo Industry Chip Trial. "Each
organization will take away learnings from the trial to support their chip
implementation plans across Canada."
    According to research(*) conducted in Kitchener-Waterloo, the majority of
consumer respondents (88 per cent) indicated that chip cards are as easy to
use as existing magnetic stripe cards, and 85 per cent of respondents
indicated that the information received from their financial institution about
their new chip card was easy to understand. Kitchener-Waterloo merchants also
had a positive experience transitioning to chip-enabled store terminals, with
75 per cent of front line employees indicating that processing chip card
transactions is as easy or easier than processing magnetic stripe
    Canadians shopping with chip cards at chip-enabled store terminals will
experience only minor differences in the way they pay for goods. The chip card
is inserted and left in the terminal for the duration of the transaction and
cardholders will now follow the prompts provided on the terminal screen. For
credit card transactions, cardholders will be required to enter a personal
identification number, or PIN, as they do today with debit card transactions,
rather than sign a sales slip.
    "We thank the Kitchener-Waterloo community for their participation,
support and feedback in helping us obtain insights to support the conversion
to chip across Canada," said Black.
    Each financial institution and payment processor has its own timeline in
place for distributing cards and terminals across Canada. Given the vast
number of cards, terminals and ABMs that must be converted, the migration to
chip is expected to take a number of years.
    Chip cards will continue to be issued with a magnetic stripe to allow all
payment cards to be used throughout Canada during the migration, as well as in
those countries that have not yet transitioned to chip technology.
    More information about the chip market trial, as well as a list of some
participating organizations can be found at the Kitchener-Waterloo Industry
Chip Trial website at

    (*) A telephone survey was administered in July 2008 to 402 Kitchener-
        Waterloo residents. A sample of this size is accurate to within
        + 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. A telephone survey was
        administered in September 2008 to 200 Kitchener-Waterloo merchants. A
        sample of this size is accurate to within +/- 6.9%, 19 times out of

For further information:

For further information: Polaris Public Relations Inc.: Christina Jones,
(905) 257-8759, (416) 912-5691 or; or Shelley
Pringle, (416) 597-1518, (416) 275-9365 or

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Kitchener-Waterloo Chip Trial

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