U.S. credit cards may not be accepted abroad

Around 48 percent of U.S. adults traveled by airplane for business or leisure in 2009, many of whom traveled outside the country, U.S. Travel reports.

However, a new report suggests the growing gap in technology between American credit cards and the rest of the developed world may be hurting U.S. travelers abroad.

The report found problems resulting from American magnetic strip cards, which are not equipped for the new EMV standard. The standard, which uses a digital reader to exchanges a unique signature with each transaction, is widely available outside the U.S.

Almost 10 million U.S. cardholders experienced credit card acceptance problems while traveling in 2008, according to Businessweek. These issues cost banks $447 million in lost revenue.

U.S. card issuers have yet to embrace the technology because the cost may exceed savings from fraud. However, many refuse to adopt EMV standards, saying the technology could soon be replaced by new advances, including credit card applications for cell phones.

Canada has recently adopted EMV standards, and is working to implement the new technology by March of 2011.

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