“According to our plans, all cards will be embedded with a security microchip and starting with the end of first quarter 2010, BCR will no longer issue cards with magnetic tape”, said Igor Zganjer, executive director at BCR cards department.

He added that the bank would cover the costs incurred by the cards replacement, estimated at 3.5-4 million euros, costs that don’t include the installation of chip-card ATMs or POS devices.

“Apart from the costs incurred by card replacement, the rest is minor. The cost of a chip card is roughly fourfold higher than for the issuing of magnetic-tape card and can go up to 1 euro,” Zganjer continued.

For the time being, 94-95% of the national ATM network is compliant with the chip technology, and over 50% of the points of sale accept the chip cards, Zganjer added.