NRF pushing for banks, retailers to shift to smart payment card technology

Organization says pin and chip cards needed to help prevent data breaches

“Once again, the NRF is more interested in pointing fingers than accepting responsibility for their role in protecting consumer data.  That’s a distraction. Plain and simple, the Target breach – and the others recently in the news – had little to do with card technology and everything to do with failed computer security at major retailers. 

“Chip-based technology should be part of the discussion, but it’s not the whole solution.  Banks and retailers already have a plan in place to adopt its use – in addition to our own industry’s stringent federal data security requirements.  Other technologies are emerging to address online and mobile payments fraud, such as tokenization, which is being spearheaded by financial institutions card networks and financial institutions card networks in their effort to protect consumers.
"Protecting consumer data is a shared responsibility, and merchants must have the same tough data security standards as financial institutions to thwart hackers."

French insists, however, that the retail industry is not trying to shift the blame.

“We’re trying to make sure there is a clear understanding about why the breaches occur,” explained French. “Breaches occur because the cards can be easily counterfeited and used fraudulently because the card technology is insecure. If the card technology was secure, then the breaches wouldn’t be nearly as numerous.”  

However, even if banks and retailer across the U.S. were to adopt pin and chip card technology tomorrow, Duncan said it would still take a significant amount of time for the transition to take place.  

“Obviously, when you’ve got billion of cards out there that have to be reissued and millions of terminals that have to be replaced, it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Duncan. “There’s going to be a huge expense involved, it’s going to take some time. In England when they did this, it took them a number of years to achieve (full adoption). I would be surprised if it didn’t take essentially the same amount of time here. The goal is to get started right away, so that we migrate to this technology… as quickly as possible.”