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The Almighty Buck Security

Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security 210

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the likely-a-communist-plot dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "U.S. retailers must accept chip-and-pin charge cards by the end of 2015 or become liable for fraudulent purchases made with chip cards. Target, still smarting from its recent embarrassing security breach, is moving to get ahead of that trend. The company will be installing chip-and-pin terminals in all its stores, and will also be issuing chip-and-pin versions of its own branded cards, which account for about 20 percent of Target sales. Will this move by a huge retailer push the U.S. into parity with the rest of the world?"
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Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

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  • by welshie (796807) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @01:15PM (#46881107)
    Today I saw an American in London trying to buy their lunch with their credit card. The cashier didn't know how to process swipe-and-sign cards, since they are exceedingly rare, they had to go and find a pen.
  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @01:17PM (#46881129) Journal

    My wife has a retail store and a credit card reader.

    If I wandered into the bank and asked how I get a C&P terminal for the store, they would stare at me blankly. It simply isn't available. The terminals exist, but the bank isn't going to talk to it until they're good an ready to, which at the current rate of progress is 'never'.

    Target has more leverage, but small retailers have to take what the bank makes available.

    For this and other reasons, we will probably switch banks, but people should be under the impression that retailers in the Us can 'just switch'. They can't. The bank decides which terminals it will work with. This is bizarre given that the terminals are completely generic.

  • Re: 'Bout time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @01:42PM (#46881567)

    The US almost always suffers from the early adopter problem. That is, we get the earlier versions of standards merely because we adopt them first, and by the time Europe gets around to adopting them the technology has improved based on what was learned in the US. Note similar things like T1 equivalent E1 being faster, and given that superseding technologies (such as optical carrier) are sold in multipliers of T1 speeds, the Europe versions tend to be speced higher.

    Broad adoption of standards is like a marriage: You're stuck with it, flaws and all, and changing to another incompatible one requires a lot of pain and sacrifice, with there being more pain the longer the marriage has lasted. For another perspective on this, look how much of a PITA it was to switch to digital TV, which the US actually did faster than most of the world.

    And yes, I know Europe also had magnetic stripe. But like the marriage analogy they didn't have it for as long nor was it adopted as broadly before chip and pin came along, likewise switching wasn't as difficult.

    There is a silver lining to our system though:

    One time I saw somebody commenting on how much he hates chip and pin because it was supposedly only being pushed so that banks can force you to pay for fraudulent charges, whereas magnetic stripe they supposedly can't. The article was referring to the US adoption, and so I told him that we already have laws that strictly limit liability for consumers that mostly just make banks liable, and they aren't going away. He then lambastes me that "the rest of the world" doesn't do it that way, therefore chip and pin is evil, and I'm a stupid ignorant American for thinking that, even though the article was specifically about the US where such a problem doesn't exist.

    Why doesn't it exist? Well, because us backward Americans have been on magnetic stripe for so long, that it was born out of necessity. (Which by the way, looking in his profile revealed he lived in Europe, which isn't "the rest of the world" as other non-European countries do have similar laws to the US, for the same reasons.)

  • by weave (48069) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @01:48PM (#46881671) Journal

    Most US cards being issued with a chip are Chip and Signature, not Chip and PIN -- because banks have trained Americans to think PIN means debit so banks fear applying a PIN to a credit card would confuse people.

    I have one of these Chip and Signature cards and on my last trip to UK it was a real PITA, especially at self-checkouts. Like at ASDA there was a signature signing pad but I had to wait for a clerk to come over to give me the pen and then she checked my signature real closely. Same thing at the duty free at the airport. The self-checking stopped and alerted the clerk to come over to check my signature. Then at other stores the clerk couldn't find a pen, or was surprised when paper spit out and had to ask a manager what was going on.

    (I had one clerk hand me the slip to sign, checked my signature, then put the signed slip into the bag with the receipt! If I was an "arse" I probably could have disputed the charge and gotten away with it because they couldn't produce a signed slip)

    At the ASDA (far away from where tourists usually go) the clerk remarked it's been years since she saw someone have to sign for a charge. I apologized, said I was an American, and that our banks think we are too stupid to remember a PIN. She got a good chuckle out of that...

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