CEO Series

Will The Target Breach Kill Branded Debit Cards?

With the Target breach still clearly visible in the rearview mirror, the payments space is beginning to ask the toughest question of all: Where do we go from here?

As Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster explained in a recent commentary, it’s a “huge, huge deal” for consumers if their bank accounts are compromised in any way. The breached encrypted PIN codes and debit information for millions of cards added fuel to the argument that a new direction may be needed, or at least available.

National Payment Card Association’s merchant-branded decoupled debit cards may be part of an industry-wide solution to preventing the next Target breach. The company’s CEO, Joe Randazza, in an exclusive interview with Webster, states that decoupled debit has a role to play as consumers look for methods of payment that offer a greater degree of security (Jump to: 2:30).

“In the case of the merchant-issued debit card, it’s just a token. There’s no payment credentials associated with a decoupled debit card. It’s restricted to that merchant-centric use,” he said.

One possible outcome of the Target breach is that consumers, anxious about the safety of their bank accounts, might turn away from products such as decoupled debit cards. But as Randazza explains (Jump to: 4:10), National Payment Card hasn’t seen any major shift in their enrollment issues since the Target breach first came to light.

“We’ve had no impact that’s been visible to us in terms of lack of consumer enrollment. In fact, we’re up year over year in terms of enrollment. I think consumers are focused on rewards, and many of our merchants have used the holiday season to bring consumers in,” he says.

There’s little doubt that the Target breach is going to reshape how consumers approach payments in 2014. Randazza sees a big opportunity for decoupled debit, and he predicts that both consumers and merchants will see the benefits that such an approach brings (Jump to: 7:00).

“Decoupled debit has come into its own right now as a legitimate payments form. Merchants − particularly in the advent of mobile payments, which we are actively involved in − are looking for the lowest cost of payment,” Radazza says. And consumers that adopt decoupled debit will “have a token that’s very secure.”

To hear more from Randazza about how decoupled debit will mitigate hacker motivation and merchants risks, listen to the full podcast below.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.

Joe Randazza, founder and CEO, National Payment Card Association

Joe R. “JR” Randazza is the founder and CEO of the National Payment Card Association. For the last 31 years, Mr. Randazza, 57, has been a serial entrepreneur engaging in several new business strategies based on identifying emerging market opportunities or replacement technologies.

National Payment Card Association

National Payment Card Association is recognized as the leading provider of Merchant Branded ACH Decoupled Debit Cards.

National Payment Card Association has been serving the payment needs of merchants since 2004. We began our services in the C-store Petroleum sector but have expanded into other merchant segments such as grocery or pharmacy.

Our cards are PIN-based only and cannot be used to pay for purchases where a signature is used for verification, making them the most secure form of payment at the point of sale.

We are a privately held company managed by seasoned payments professionals with deep expertise in payment systems. We have been issued several patents that demonstrate our innovation related to merchant branded debit cards.



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