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EMV Not an End-All for Card Security While migration to cards with chip technology should help mitigate card fraud, additional steps by retailers and more layers of security are needed. Over the past few years, consumers have experienced a flurry of data breaches that have brought the issue of payments card security to the fore. Cybersecurity is a complex issue where no single solution is a panacea, but make no mistake: the migration to EMV chip cards is one of the most significant improvements to payments card security in years. It should help to mitigate card fraud at the point of sale. As president of the ICBA, I and the 6,000 community banks we represent are very familiar with both EMV technology and how the transition is taking place at the local level. In fact, we recently had the opportunity to share these observations and experiences at an Oct. 7 … Continue reading
ABA Survey: 94 Percent of Consumers Say Retailers Should Improve Security Systems to Protect Financial Information
An overwhelming majority of consumers think retailers should be taking steps to protect consumer data from hackers, according to a new survey released today by the American Bankers Association. Following high-profile data breaches at major retailers including Target and Home Depot, 94 percent of consumers say it is important for retailers to upgrade their security controls, and 70 percent say retailers should be installing EMV chip-enabled card readers as soon as possible. The survey of 1,006 U.S. adults was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, Sept. 28-30, 2015.
If you’ve ever had a credit card number stolen, you know what a serious pain it can be. Losing a card to fraud can be the simple annoyance of your card being cancelled by the watchful credit card issuing company and having to wait for a new card to a full out identity theft which can cost thousands. How are cyber thieves stealing the card numbers? The main way for thieves to get your information comes from beaching the older large department stores’, or “Big Box Stores,” often-antiquated technology. A customer’s single biggest vulnerability for identity theft and credit card fraud is using your card at major retail stores that have repeatedly been breached by hackers. These stores use outdated kiosk computers to process sales. These retailers have allowed clever thieves to install viruses that silently relay customers’ credit card info back to them. This is how Target negligently lost … Continue reading
On Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on the Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip payment system which offers a more secure payment system for credit card transactions. But while the new technology is a big improvement, it does not signal an end to credit card fraud. The FBI recently issued a bulletin warning consumers to remain vigilant, despite the new technology. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, EMV credit cards include a small microchip that encrypts your card information when you use it at a specially equipped payment kiosk. If the kiosk is appropriately configured, it cannot access the real credit card number, just an encrypted version of it, thwarting a virus, for example, from pilfering it during the transaction. However, an FBI press release includes a succinct summary of any effort to prevent fraud: “no one technology eliminates fraud and cybercriminals will continue to look … Continue reading
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who was wrong about price controls on interchange fees on credit and debit card transactions fives years ago, now sides with the big box stores in pushing for ineffective “chip and pin” protections on credit and debit cards. Durbin is hardly an expert on these issues, but he surely is bought and paid for by retailers. While it’s claimed the lack of these features makes us vulnerable to fraud, the single biggest vulnerability is for identity theft and credit card fraud in your name: it’s using your card at major retail store that have repeatedly been breached by hackers. Contrary to what credit card security expert Durbin claims, more than chip and pin is needed to ensure security of our credit and debit cards. Using outdated kiosk computers to process sales, retailers have allowed clever thieves to install viruses that silently relay customers’ credit card info … Continue reading
Can you really trust Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to stand up for consumers and get it right this time? He claimed fives years ago that putting price controls on credit and debit card translations, something demanded by big box retailers, was in our interest and he turned out to be wrong. We as consumers have not seen any benefit from that. Now the senator, who would have us believe he’s an expert on identity theft and credit card fraud, thinks “chip and pin” features on our credit and debit cards will protect us. But these measures won’t protect us from the instances of hackers obtaining our card data from major retailers like what happened in the last few years with Home Depot and Target where millions of customers had their billing information obtained by hackers. Sen. Durbin has had a cozy relationship with retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. His … Continue reading
Sen. Dick Durbin hates free markets but loves crony capitalism. Durbin has carried water for big box retailers for years and was successful in enacting a measure to force price-controls on interchange fees for credit cards — a measure that helped his friends in retail at the expense of consumers. Now Durbin is at it again, pushing a measure he argues will cut down on credit card fraud but is, in reality, nothing more than window dressing for the stores have provided hundreds of millions of credit card numbers to cyber thieves. It’s no secret that the retail stores have become juicy targets for crooks looking to steal credit card numbers. Target’s computer system was breached and 70 million credit card numbers were stolen in one feel swoop. Home Depot was responsible for 56 million credit cards being stolen. Rather than work with security experts and credit card companies, the … Continue reading
The Electronic Payments Coalition has publicly commended the FBI’s recent public service announcement (PSA) about the EMV policy shift underway in the US. The shift is essentially putting EMV chip cards into the hands of American consumers as the country’s regulatory framework shifts to incentivize their use, since the EMV chip cards’ automatically generated one-time codes for transaction authentication add an important extra layer of security to transactions. While EMV chip cards are undeniably more secure than traditional magnetic strip cards, the FBI’s PSA focused on the security risks that are nevertheless present in the new technology. That’s fine with the Electronic Payments Coalition, which has issued a statement in which it uses the FBI’s PSA as an opportunity to highlight the advantages of EMV chip security while warning against consumer complacence when it comes to security. The EPC notes that in other countries where EMV chip cards have been … Continue reading
The FBI went back and forth Thursday, Friday and Saturday on a public service announcement about the security of new chip cards under the so-called EMV migration — issuing, then revoking and finally revising a PSA that originally made retailers happy but prompted complaints from the financial services industry. The bureau’s initial version included lines such as “When using the EMV card at a PoS terminal, consumers should use the PIN, instead of a signature, to verify the transaction” — erroneous advice, since consumers in the U.S. generally don’t have the option of using PINs for credit card transactions. Brian Dodge, executive vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said the original language “should be a wake-up call to the banks and card networks that continue to stand in the way of making PIN authentication the standard in the U.S.” By Saturday, after the FBI had deleted the line … Continue reading
Recently, I was granted the distinct privilege of testifying before the House Small Business Committee to comment on an issue that is of paramount importance to credit unions across the United States: The security of customer data in an era of rampant cybercrime. Specifically, I spoke to lawmakers about the significance of the transition to the EMV chip payment system and how EMV is but one part of a larger data security picture. Due to the traveling habits and job assignments of many of our members at State Department Federal Credit Union, and with 8 percent of our members located overseas at any given time, we began issuing EMV VISA credit cards in June 2012. We were one of the first financial institutions in the U.S. to do so. Today, our credit card portfolio, which exceeds 28,000 cards, is 100 percent EMV.