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Report: EMV delays slow security efforts


One year later, retailers still await the promise of chip-card security.

The one-year anniversary of the Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) mandate is looming, yet delays by the card industry have left thousands of new chip readers unused and consumers with far less improvement in security than what was expected, according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of participating retailers said they already installed the equipment but still need certification by the card industry to turn on devices. Meanwhile, 60% of these companies said they had been waiting six months or longer, the report said.

“Retailers have spent billions of dollars to install the new equipment, but card companies have failed to sign off on the installations in a timely manner,” said NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan. “Many retailers have had new chip card readers sitting next to their cash registers for a year waiting for the card companies’ blessing.”

In the meantime, 86% of retailers overall are hopeful they will have their EMV chip card technology fully implemented by the end of 2016. While they are eager to take advantage of the technology, retailers said they are also working on technologies like tokenization and encryption to further protect card data, the report said.

“The new cards provide just a fraction of the security they could because they are only chip-and-signature rather than the chip-and-PIN used throughout the rest of the industrialized world,” Duncan added. “Without a secret PIN, virtually any illegible scrawl of a signature is good enough for a criminal to use an innocent person’s credit card with or without a chip.”

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