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May 27, 2014updated 04 Apr 2017 4:07pm

Card Processing firms push for microchip cards adoption

The electronic payments firm and card issuers have intensified push for the adoption of microchips technology in US credit and debit cards following a recent cyber-attack on e-commerce firm eBay.

By Verdict Staff

The electronic payments firm and card issuers have intensified push for the adoption of microchips technology in US credit and debit cards following a recent cyber-attack on e-commerce firm eBay.

The card processing companies, including Visa and MasterCard stated that it is time US provide its consumers with enhanced card fraud security by introducing microchip cards. The technology is currently in use in Canada, Mexico and some Western European countries.

The companies claim that abandoning the black magnetic strip on the back of the cards would address credit card fraud at a significant level, reported The Associated Press.

MasterCard US product delivery group head Carolyn Balfany said that although chips are not perfect, they provide an extra barrier because of which criminals often choose to target US-issued cards, whose magnetic strips are easy to replicate.

"Typically, fraudsters are going to go to the path of least resistance," Balfany added.

Visa chief enterprise risk officer Ellen Ritchey said: "It’s not just about fraud and losses, it’s about the trust involved in electronic payments that’s destroyed."

However, the US is tentative in adopting the technology with concerns over costs and operation disputes. Retailers had raised issues such as paying for new cash registers and back office systems to accommodate the new cards, which led to clashes between retailers, card issuers and processors.

Although the dispute was resolved, a series of cyber breaches at major retailers including Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels strengthen the case for introduction of microchips-enabled cards.

Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt told the news agency that in cases of major fraud, banks have generally been able to collect only pennies on the dollar from the retailers involved.

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