The Boston Globe had a good story over the weekend (thanks for the link, Patrick) about the trouble U.S. travelers in Europe are having with their credit cards.
Europe is on the leading edge with chip-and-pin technology. Each credit card has an embedded chip and requires the card holder to enter a personal identification number for each transaction.
U.S. cards have no chips and require no PINs. And even though the credit card companies require merchants to accept chip-less cards with proper identification, many of them simply won’t. And automated vending? Forget it.
While this is becoming an increasing problem for Americans in Europe, it is also spreading to other parts of the world. The Globe reports that “as many as 50 other countries around the world are converting” to chip and pin technology.
Yet no U.S. bank issues chip and pin cards, and none seem to be planning to convert. Until one does, Americans may have to rely more than we’d care to on cash and ATM cards.