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President Obama to speed US EMV adoption

President Obama to speed US EMV adoption

In a bid to speed up US EMV adoption in the wake of recent payment card breaches at retailers, President Obama has signed an executive order directing government agencies to shift to the use of chip-and-PIN cards for use by staff as well as in consumer benefits programs, including Social Security.

At an appearance Oct. 17 at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Obama

An EMV card with the US flag on it

US EMV worth the cost and effort

also announced that the White House will host later this year a cybersecurity and consumer protection summit, bringing together cabinet members and key stakeholders in the consumer financial sector to share best practices, promote adherence to stronger security standards, and discuss next generation technologies.

Obama also is calling on Congress to enact a national data breach notification law, saying the current patchwork of state laws is unsustainable and helps no one. “Today we are calling on Congress to act with urgency on data breach legislation, to bring clarity to the expectations consumers should have when their data has been breached, and to steps companies must take to notify their customers of risks after such security breaches,” the president says.

“We are also calling on Congress to pass meaningful cybersecurity legislation that will help the government better protect federal networks and legislation that appropriately balances the need for greater information sharing and strong protection for privacy and civil liberties – respecting the longstanding responsibilities of civilian and military agencies,” Obama says.

The Reaction

Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, says the president’s announcement about the use of EMV cards at government agencies should serve as a catalyst for chip-and-PIN adoption in the U.S.

“The antiquated card security system in place today in the U.S. makes it far too easy for criminals to commit card fraud,” Kennedy says. “Retailers are dedicated to protecting consumers and believe that chip-and-PIN technology will better shield U.S. consumers from fraud, just as it has done for consumers elsewhere around the world.”

“Banks, payment networks and retailers are working together to make chip cards and readers widely available in advance of the October 2015 implementation deadline,” says ABA President and CEO Frank Keating. “Banks invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year to put in place multiple layers of security to detect fraud before it occurs and effectively stop criminals in their tracks. We look forward to working with the White House, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security to share our best practices and new technologies that will aid in the fight against fraud.”

But the Consumer Bankers Association, while supportive of the President’s initiative, voiced caution about misguided expectations for EMV and the overall security of chip-and-PIN card technoloyg.

“While chip-based technology is important, it’s not a total solution to the issue of data security,” says Richard Hunt, CBA’s president and CEO. “Many financial institutions and retailers already have a plan in place to adopt its use – in addition to our own industry’s stringent federal data security requirements. Other technologies are emerging to address online and mobile payments fraud, such as tokenization, which is being spearheaded by financial institutions and card networks in their effort to protect consumers.”

Hunt says protecting consumer data is a “shared responsibility,” and that merchants must have the same tough data security standards as financial institutions to truly stop hackers from compromising card data.

BuySecure Initiative

The use of the EMV chip-and-PIN cards is part of a new White House program called BuySecure Initiative, which the administration says will help drive the market toward more secure payment systems.

The post President Obama to speed US EMV adoption appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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