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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has sent a letter to congressional leaders regarding the retail industry’s efforts to safeguard sensitive consumer data following the recent well-publicized data breaches as the one experienced by Target.
“The National Retail Federation and our 12,000 members are committed to combating this criminal threat to our industry and our customers, and we strongly recommend the adoption of meaningful steps to fight cybertheft and credit card fraud,” wrote NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in the letter, which went to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The letter restated the retail industry’s longtime support for adopting credit and debit cards that can store data in an embedded computer microchip and require the use of a PIN instead of a signature. The cards currently in use aren’t secure enough, according to Washington, D.C.-based NRF.
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“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,” noted Shay.
NRF urged an immediate move from magnetic-stripe cards to more-secure and advanced PIN and chip cards to more effectively shield consumer data from theft, hacking and skimming. These types of cards are already used in more than 80 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa.
“The retail industry is eager to work with banks and card companies to fight cyberattacks and reduce fraud,” said Shay. “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.”