Thursday, February 6, 2014

Target to transition to chip-enabled smart cards...

Target announced this week that they are accelerating plans to implement smart card technology designed to dramatically reduce the threat of credit and debit card fraud. Target will equip its proprietary REDcards and all of its store card readers in the U.S. with chip-enabled (EMV) smart-card technology by early 2015, more than six months ahead of previous plans. The accelerated effort is part of a $100 million project to put in place chip-enabled technology in all of Target’s U.S. Stores.

Chip-enabled smart cards contain a tiny microprocessor chip that encrypts transaction data shared with sales terminals used by merchants. As a result, even if the card number is stolen in a data breach, the thieves cannot counterfeit the card. Similar technology already use in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia has drastically reduced the incidence of fraud for consumers at physical store locations.

The United States is one of the last industrialized countries to migrate to EMV, but this is about to change, as American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have all unveiled their plans to migrate the U.S. to EMV by October 2015.

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