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UAE Visa credit card holders can now get smart

Only day's after Visa's US announcement, ABN Amro Bank became the first bank in the Middle East to introduce its customers to Visa’s new Smart credit. cards.

ABN Amro Bank became the first bank in the Middle East to introduce its customers to Visa’s new Smart credit cards.

The smart cards, which were launched in the US only last week, will be available to ABN Amro customers in the UAE immediately. Several other local banks have stated that they will offer the new cards before the end of the year.

Visa’s card carries both a smart chip and the traditional magnetic stripe on it. This ensures that card holders have access to all regular services and privileges while retailers, and in particular e-tailers, prepare to roll-out services that take advantage of the smart card’s intelligence.

Card carriers will need their own smart card readers to enjoy the full potential of the new cards. A smart Visa card reader is a device that attaches to your PC and reads the information that is stored on your chip.

With a reader, users can gain access to secure web sites and portals where they can find information specific to them. This will lead to personalised offers to shoppers because information can be gathered about individuals far more quickly and special offers can be tailored instantly.

As merchants increasingly embrace chip and authentication technology, smart Visa card readers will also facilitate secure payment for online purchases.

When paying at a participating online merchant site, users will not only provide details direct from the smart card, they will also have to provide passwords or pin codes that are unique to the card. These can be changed regularly because it is possible to write new information to the smart card.

That additional functionality will not come for free in the Middle East. ABN Amro is charging Dhs 200 for its classic card and Dhs 400 for a gold card.

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