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RBC marks 10 million world wide chip card transactions with RBC Platinum Avion Visa Card


RBC today announced it recently surpassed over 10 million successful chip transactions at compatible merchant locations in Canada and worldwide. This milestone comes four years after RBC became the first Canadian financial institution to begin issuing chip cards nationally to its Platinum Avion Visa cardholders in 2003.

Widely used in other parts of the world, chip-embedded credit cards are designed to provide increased protection against counterfeiting and skimming fraud. As part of Canada’s migration to chip cards, RBC along with other members of the Canadian payment card industry have announced a chip market trial to start this fall in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, leading into a national rollout of chip-enabled cards, ATMs and merchant terminals over the next several years.

“Reaching 10 million successful chip transactions is a significant milestone for us and we’re eager and ready to roll out chip to all of our cardholders starting with the Kitchener-Waterloo trial this fall,” said Anne Koski, head of Payments Innovation. “While the advantages of chip were initially limited to outside North America, our Avion clients have had a jump start when it comes to the added security of chip technology. We have been anxiously waiting for the Canadian marketplace to catch up.”

In the past four years RBC Avion cardholders have been using chip in over 100 countries worldwide, most often in Europe and South America, but also in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and South East Asia. However, the majority of chip transactions are now occurring in Canada as more chip-enabled terminals are being placed with merchants.

Most often, Avion cardholders are completing their chip transactions at merchants with Moneris Solutions terminals. Moneris began providing chip-enabled point of sale devices in 2005. With over 75,000 devices in Canada, they have established a leadership position in chip terminal rollout. Moneris offers credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants and processes more than 2.3 billion transactions annually.

The transition to chip card technology represents an evolution of the electronic payments industry and is designed to make an already safe payments system even more secure. Chip cards are being introduced around the world as a long-term replacement for magnetic stripe cards. However, for a few more years to come both technologies will be in use to ensure cards can be used at all terminals.

At chip-enabled terminals, the chip card is inserted and left there for the length of the transaction and the cardholder simply follows the prompts. RBC Avion cardholders have been using a signature with their chip transactions over the last few years. But in future and starting with the Kitchener-Waterloo chip trial, all chip card holders will use a PIN at chip-enabled terminals. Avion clients will continue to use a signature until they receive their PIN-enabled chip cards during the trial and beyond.

RBC is the leading card issuer in Canada with over 10 million credit and debit cards in market.


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