Bank One Utah is the first Utah bank offering at no cost pictures and signatures on the front of the credit and checking cards they issue.

Jeffrey P. Gaia, bank president and chief executive officer, said the photo and signature credit cards enable customers to protect against credit card fraud."As a result, stolen credit cards will stand little chance of being used fraudulently because the owner's photo is on the front of the card," said Gaia.

All of Bank One's credit card and checking customers are eligible for the new cards immediately. Customers can get their pictures taken during regular business hours at any of Bank One's 30 branch offices in Utah.

The process is quick, simple and free. No appointments are required and customers can choose the preferred photo.

Last August, Bank One introduced the photo cards in Arizona and the Maricopa County prosecutor's office endorsed the photo card as a substitute for a driver's license when retail merchants verify checks.

The photo imaging technology, jointly developed by Polaroid Corp., Cambridge, Mass., and DataCard Corp., Minneapolis, Minn., is similar to the process used with state driver's licenses. Photographs are scanned and converted into a digital format on magnetic tape, which is used to produce the credit or checking card.

The personalized credit and checking cards allow customers to access 24-hour automated teller machines, guarantee checks, provide personal identification and make purchases at more than 10 million retail locations nationwide. Bank One is in the midst of an extensive advertising campaign to publicize the new cards.