Debit as well credit cards which earlier used to come with magnetic stripes are making a conscious effort to move towards the chip based mode of payment.
The smart cards would not only aid towards enhanced security of the cards but would also have multifunctional utility.
Some banks have already started their pilot projects on them and "mass roll-out would happen in 2011-12," said a source in Venture Infotek, a transaction management company.
Mr Ratnakar Hegde, Executive Director, Oriental Bank of Commerce said that the bank was making a shift towards these cards as they have "in-built processing capabilities with storage. With the introduction of smart cards, it will become much more difficult to copy details."
HDFC Bank has already started issuing these cards though magnetic stripe bearing cards are also being issued. Mr Parag Rao, Head - Credit Card Marketing, HDFC Bank, said, "Now the magnetic stripe will carry lesser sensitive data and more data will be installed on the chip."
The process would also involve changing ATMs and point of sales machines, so the entire migration would take some time, said Ms Shubhalakshmi Panse, Executive Director, Vijaya Bank.
"The ATM's card reader has to be changed, and all existing payment cards have to be replaced. There has to be a concerted effort wherein banks come together along with ATM manufacturers, point-of-sales machine manufacturers etc," she explained.
"Once the smart card gets introduced, it might become both debit and credit cards," said Ms Panse.
Indian Bank is also targetting towards making a switch to these smart cards, said T M Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank.
"Debit cards on chip-based technology would be next on priority," he added.