Money & Business

Retail Association Pushes for Greater Credit Card Security

By / May 12, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe won praise from the Retail Industry Leaders Association after he signed a directive mandating that state-issued credit cards have advanced chip security features. But RILA is advocating for even more credit card security.

Last week, Virginia became the first state to mandate advanced credit card security.

To help ensure the safety of citizen data, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive directive requiring that state-issued credit cards used by state agencies have advanced chip security features in place by December 2015.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, meanwhile, is pushing for more. It wants Virginia to follow in President Obama’s footsteps and require “chip-and-PIN” cards.

“We applaud the initial step taken by Governor McAuliffe in the implementation of chip technology, which provides a more secure means to store personal data,” Joe Rinzel, RILA senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement. “But we urge the governor to follow the president’s lead and take the next step and require state-issued credit cards be secured with ‘chip-and-PIN’ technology.”

This type of technology has been the standard in Canada and Europe, RILA said, leading hackers to target U.S. business and consumers that carry less-secure magnetic swipe cards. “Retailers believe that U.S. banks should issue new credit cards with the same security features that have been tested and proven to alleviate fraud across the world,” the group said in the statement.

Chip-and-PIN cards allow for greater security by creating a unique code for every transaction a consumer makes with a card as well as requiring that a PIN be entered to complete a transaction.

In October, Obama signed an executive order requiring chip-and-PIN technology be added to all federal credit cards. He encouraged banks and retailers to follow suit.

Several groups, including the National Retail Federation, American Bankers Association, National Restaurant Association, and Electronic Transactions Association, voiced support for Obama’s order.

“This is not an issue about large retail versus small, or global financial institutions versus community banks and credit unions, or the federal government versus municipalities,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “We all stand together in seeking solutions to prevent criminals from accessing personal financial data regarding our customers, investors, and citizens through preventable data breaches.”

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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