Credit Card Firms Endanger Customer Privacy With Outdated Technology

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-12-27 Print this article Print
Security worries

This places the entire issue of secure credit card transactions into a chicken-or-egg situation of sorts. For retailers to see a requirement to accept EMV-enabled credit cards, they need customers who demand them. For card issuers, there needs to be customer demand. For customers to demand such cards, they need to be able to see a benefit, and they need to see that the cards are available.

The real sticking point here appears to be the banks, some of which apparently don't want to offer the increased security of the EMV card to their customers because it would raise their costs slightly. Other credit card issuers will send out the more secure EMV card on request to some, but usually not all, their customers. But in the United States, none of the banks are making the secure card their default.

The retail sector, having learned from credit card data breaches over the years, is rapidly coming on board to provide a way to protect their customers. If the reaction of Target customers is any indication, they are on board with greater security, if only they knew how to get it and where they could use those cards.

The banks, by contrast, are largely dragging their corporate feet. The only way to change this is for customers to demand change and for major retailers, including Walmart, to start pushing. Maybe the Target breach is enough to help that push, but if my communications with Capital One are any indication, not every bank is feeling the need.

Editor's Note: This article was updated with additional information about Capital One's plans to implement EMV chips in its credit cards.


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