Wells Fargo to Pilot EMV Chip Technology For International Travelers

 New Visa Smart Card Features Magnetic Stripe and Chip Technology, Helping Increase Card Acceptance Worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO — April 13, 2011 — Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is piloting the Visa Smart Card, which includes the traditional magnetic stripe along with EMV chip technology, helping increase card acceptance worldwide. The pilot is the industry’s first chip program by a national bank and includes 15,000 Wells Fargo consumer credit card customers who travel internationally.

EMV is the global industry standard for chip payment technology. EMV chip-based payment cards contain an embedded microprocessor, which is a type of small computer. The microprocessor chip contains the information needed to use the card for payment, and is protected by various security features. Customers do not see much difference when using an EMV chip.
“U.S. issuers and merchants rely primarily on magnetic stripe technology,” said Eric Schindewolf, vice president of product development for Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Card. “However, many parts of the world have adopted chip-enabled payment cards as a primary means of authentication, which has been problematic for customers who travel abroad and were unable to use their credit card. By combining traditional magnetic stripe along with the EMV chip technology, we hope our customers will have the convenience to use their credit card no matter where they are in the world.”
“Visa is very pleased to support Wells Fargo in its effort to bring EMV chip-enabled cards to its international traveling customers,” said Stephanie Ericksen, head of chip product integration, Visa Inc. “Wells Fargo’s implementation provides cardholders an enhanced experience in international countries using EMV chip.”
“Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is pleased to support Visa and Wells Fargo in this pioneering project with the expertise we have gained in multiple EMV implementations across the globe," said Scott Marquardt, President of G&D’s U.S. subsidiary.
The EMV cards, personalization and fulfillment services were provided by Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), a worldwide leader in smart card technology offering full service, quick turn EMV solutions. Visa provided Wells Fargo technical and product support to ensure the program meets EMV standards and enables both signature and PIN-based cardholder verification for greater cardholder flexibility.
“This initiative will enable Wells Fargo customers to have their Visa card payments accepted anywhere in the world,” said Beth Robertson, Director of Payments Research at Javelin Strategy & Research. “EMV technology is important to creating the widespread global acceptance that cardholders expect.”
All of Wells Fargo’s cards offer built-in security with the Zero Liability program. With this program, cardholders are protected against liability for any unauthorized transactions made at merchants, over the phone, on the Internet, or at the ATM. Wells Fargo, along with Visa, protects cardholders from fraud with zero liability to the customer, when reported promptly.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About Giesecke & Devrient
Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a leading international technology provider headquartered in Munich, Germany. With a headcount of more than 10,000 employees, the Group generated sales of EUR 1.7 billion in fiscal 2009. Founded in 1852, G&D is a global market leader and pioneering innovator in banknote production and processing, smart card solutions and services for telecommunications and electronic payment, and security documents and identification systems. 65 subsidiaries and joint ventures in 32 countries ensure customer proximity worldwide. For more information, visit our website at: www.gi-de.com.
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 280,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.