MasterCard announced last week that U.S. banks and merchants need to transition to the EMV chip system to enhance credit card security. The announcement came in an open letter from Chris McWilton, President of MasterCard’s North American Markets on Jan. 8, released this week to financial institutions, merchants and other partners in response to the pre-holiday credit card data breach that stung Target and Neiman Marcus. News agents such as Reuters have reported there could be as many as four more companies who could step forward in the coming days to announce credit card data breaches.
EMV-Chip Migration will replace
As credit card security technology advances, so does fraud technology. And, wrote Mr. McWilton, delays in converting the magnetic stripe to EMV chip (EuroCard, MasterCard, Visa) technology would increase the U.S.’s already “disproportionate share of the world’s fraud losses.”
Mr. McWilton said, “This migration is about an upgrade that will drive both innovation and security for all of us and, more importantly, consumers and cardholders. The fraud liability shifts we have announced provide incentives to migrate to EMV and not a mandate. Over the past two years, we have been impressed with how the industry has come together to prepare and plan for this migration.”
Mr. McWilton also said MasterCard will begin conversion to chip method in 2015.
U.S. Lags in Credit Card Security
Curiously, the U.S. is one of the last markets in the world to convert to the EMV chip for credit card information security. Instabill has blogged extensively in recent weeks about the credit card data breach, in which CEO Jason Field reiterated that U.S. banks face similar issues as Target and the United States needs to convert to the EMV chip system. He is in good company in his assertion.
David Pogue, technology columnist for Yahoo!, appeared on CBS This Morning last week and said the reason the U.S. still employs magstripe technology – which debuted in 1970 – is that it is inexpensive. Converting to the EMV chip would be a costly transition. “There would be more time at the register and every retailer and restaurant would have to change their system,” he noted. But he also added that the EMV chip would almost put an end to data breaches such as those at Target and Neiman Marcus.
Taking Action with Instabill
Payment technology will advance. So will hacker technology. Instabill is committed to informing its merchant accounts on the latest issues in the credit card processing industry and asks merchants to petition acquiring banks to convert to EMV chip technology; to check credit card statements and remain aware of phishing tactics. Instabill partners are always encouraged to speak to one of our merchant account representatives at 1-800-318-2713 or chat with us online.