What is chip and PIN?

“Chip and PIN” is a popular term for payments systems that include bankcards with an EMV compliant computer chip and that require a PIN entry for all transactions. EMV is a global technology specification for payment adopted by MasterCard, Visa, JCB and American Express. The EMV specifications define a set of requirements to guarantee global interoperability of chip-based payment cards and payment terminals. EMV cards contain an embedded microprocessor chip that provides strong transaction security features as well as other application capabilities that are not possible with magnetic stripe cards. The EMV standard does not require the use of a PIN code. In the United States for example, which is now starting to migrate to EMV payments, the decision to require a PIN code for payment transactions is left up to the card issuer.

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Can I get an EMV chip card from my bank? Is it possible to request one?