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Retailers Want Microchip Cards to Replace Less-Secure Magnetic Stripe Cards
Jan 28, 2014
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A National Retail Federation letter to congressional leaders outlines the retail commitment to protecting consumer data in the wake of the recent international cyber attacks and thefts. The letter also reiterates retail support for replacing current credit/debit cards with cards that would store data in an embedded computer microchip and require the use of a PIN rather than a signature. The organization said current cards use "easy-to-hack 1960s technology."

The letter from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay went to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“For years, banks have continued to issue fraud-prone magnetic stripe cards to U.S. customers, putting sensitive financial information at risk while simultaneously touting the security benefits of next-generation PIN and Chip card technology for customers in Europe and dozens of other markets,” Shay said.

NRF supports an immediate transition from magnetic-stripe cards to more-secure and advanced PIN and Chip cards to better protect consumer data from theft, hacking and skimming. PIN and Chip cards are widely used in more than 80 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

“The retail industry is eager to work with banks and card companies to fight cyber attacks and reduce fraud,” Shay said. “These efforts include installation of sophisticated new PIN-enabled point-of-sale-systems and readiness to adopt cards with more secure microchip technology, but the fact remains that retailers cannot do this alone.”

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