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Retailers Push For Chip-And-PIN

The push for enhanced payments security is getting a bit contentious, Reuters reported Friday (Oct. 30), especially in relation to chip-and-PIN.

The newswire said that a number of large U.S. retailers are “stepping up efforts” to use PINs alongside the credit cards that have been issued in the past several months that have chips embedded. Yet the effort, said Reuters, is being countered by the banking industry, which, as Reuters wrote, “sees no need to invest further in PIN technology.” So, the end result is that there is staggered, drawn-out adoption and confusion among merchants and consumers alike.

Among the retailers are ones with considerable clout, which also have their own branded cards, such as Target and Walmart. Both of those companies are rolling out chip-and-PIN configurations. And yet, Walmart faces some bumps in that transition, as its credit card partner, Synchrony Financial, can’t yet handle PINs on credit cards.

[bctt tweet=”EMV has yet to see a significant changeover.”]

As has been widely reported, EMV has yet to see a significant changeover, with only a third of merchants having embraced the technology. That might stall further ahead of the crucial retail selling holiday season, so the traditional signature that banks rely on for authentication may still be the norm. Bankers would rather see tokenization and encryption as widely adopted anti-fraud measures rather than investing what some analysts say would be hundreds of millions of dollars into new networks for chip-and-PIN.

Reuters found some conflicting views on PINs. “The PIN is definitely a must,” Lance James, chief scientist with cyberintelligence firm Flashpoint, told the newswire. “It’s one extra step that provides true two-factor authentication.” On the other side of the debate, “PIN is a static data element that would not have a meaningful impact on overall payments fraud,” according to Electronic Payments Coalition spokesman Sam Fabens.

And amid all that, there’s confusion. In one instance, a Chase credit card representative said Chase would issue chip-and-PIN cards — not true. In another instance, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said that all EMV cards use PINs, before correcting itself.

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