Last updated on November 18th, 2015 at 03:46 pm
Nine state attorneys general from Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia are urging the largest credit card issuers to move to full chip and PIN technology as soon as possible.
The AGs say that doing so would be in the best interest of consumers, who are now routinely impacted by breaches involving credit and debit cards, and of local businesses, which are at risk of increased financial risks as well as harm to their reputations and loss of consumer trust if they experience a breach.
“Over the last few years, breaches at major retailers that involved credit and debit card information have really shown a giant spotlight at the inherent weakness and vulnerability of magnetic strip cards even when the cards are lost or stolen,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said. “We know, based on experiences in other countries, that chip and PIN cards offer greater security to consumers—security that I believe far outweighs any initial burden or confusion that always comes when we need to get used to a new way of doing things, like using a credit card.”
The AGs say that, while the ongoing implementation of chip-enabled cards in the U.S. is “imperative in order to provide stronger payment security and assurance to consumers,” most chip cards currently being issued in the country rely on a signature, rather than a PIN, as the secondary form of verification.
There are 1.62 billion chip cards in use across 80 countries around the world. France, Canada and the United Kingdom, among others, reported significant reductions in various types of payment card fraud since the adoption of chip and PIN technology. Since 2003, the U.S. has consistently accounted for about half of the global loss from fraudulent transactions, despite being responsible for only a quarter of total card payments, according to the state AGs.
Jared Scheeler, board member of the National Association of Convenience Stores, recently testified in front of the House Small Business Committee, saying, “It does not appear that the card companies took into consideration the realities of operating a small business when they came up with their transition plans.”
Scheeler told the committee that it has cost his chain of four North Dakota convenience stores $134,500 to date to install point-of-sale and pump card readers that accept EMV chip transactions.