After The Breachin’: Chip-and-Pin Comes to Target
Target’s Response to the Security Breach
The recent widespread Heartbleed security vulnerability, as previously noted, offered an opportunity – despite its negative impact. It allowed many companies to rework and improve their security protocols, encouraged consumers to embrace “double login” options on various accounts, such as using both a password and a PIN. This, in turn, led to an overall enhancement of web-wide security.
Target’s Transition to EMV Technology
Target, who held the pre-Heartbleed “record,” as it were, for “most infamous digital security breach” has already been busy taking the “reinvention” idea to, well, heart, and has announced sweeping changes for its own Target REDcards.
As reported by CNN Money, the corporation declared its intention to replace its existing Target REDcards, designed exclusively for in-house use, with upgraded versions featuring embedded computer chips. Customers will be required to input one of the aforementioned PINs for added security.
Leading the Way in EMV Use
This development positions Target as the initial major retailer to transition into the more advanced global credit card system, known as EMV cards, which we have previously covered.
The Liability Shift and Merchant Readiness
Perhaps as a form of reparation, Target has joined forces with MasterCard to pioneer the introduction of EMV technology in the United States. According to the cyber security website CSO, Visa and MasterCard have enforced an October 2015 deadline for retailers to embrace these new cards, making them responsible for fraudulent transactions involving older cards if they fail to do so.
The liability, in other words, switches over to the merchants at that point — always a good reason to
check in with your AVPS rep to make sure you’re as up-to-date as you can be, already.
The Cost of Transition
And yet, as the article further notes, “many retailers are not hurrying to make the transition to the expensive technology required to accept the more secure cards. Experts estimate the transition would cost the industry $30 billion.”
Meaning we might be in a kind of “Windows XP” phase, where merchants will continue to use outdated technology and/or software, while “hoping for the best.”
Target’s Timeline for EMV Adoption
Target, meanwhile, “will have the new payment terminals necessary to accept the cards in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September 2014, and will be able to start accepting Chip-and-PIN Card Payments by early next year,” according to another article on the Pymnts.com website.
Regarding the hesitation of other merchants to adhere to a transition timeline, Jeremy Gumbley, Chief Technology Officer at CreditCall, a company that assists businesses with system upgrades, suggests that retailers might find motivation if they observe that customers at Target who employ chip-and-PIN technology express a heightened sense of security with this new method.
Looking to the Future
This indicates that this autumn, one year after the breach, Target will serve as the primary testing ground for gauging the speed of EMV adoption across the United States, which has been relatively slow to embrace this technology.
It will one of the many changes coming to credit and payments; we look forward to heading out into that same future with you.