Wal-Mart is reportedly about to institute smartcard-based payment at all its U.S.-based stores. A company spokesman revealed this week, according to reports, that payment terminals capable of recognizing chip-and-PIN technology could soon replace signature-based credit card transactions. The move by the world’s largest retailer could force other merchants, card issuers and processors to migrate to chip-and-PIN technology, said experts. The system, which uses an embedded chip to verify the card is legitimate, is thought to be significantly safer than traditional magnetic stripe cards, but the cost of adopting the system, widely used in Europe and other countries, has delayed implementation. – GM