CEO David Nelms announced the card company’s support of chip and PIN as the more secure transaction technology.
April 26, 2016
ARLINGTON, Va. – Last week, Discover Chairman and CEO David Nelms announced the company would begin migration to chip and PIN technology to secure credit card transactions in the United States.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) applauded the announcement, noting that over the past year, merchants and law enforcement officials have questioned why U.S. banks and card networks chose to implement a chip and signature system in the U.S., rather than the more secure chip and PIN, which is used throughout the industrialized world to combat fraud and reduce card theft. Retailers have invested billions to install upgraded payment terminals to accept new chip cards while asking banks and card networks to meet that investment by implementing chip and PIN in the United States.
“Retailers appreciate the candid assessment from a leading card issuer that the financial services industry has missed an opportunity to provide a higher level of security for U.S. consumers,” said Austen Jensen, vice president of government affairs at RILA. “Banks and other card issuers should follow Discover’s lead and make a commitment to providing American consumers with the same level of security that consumers in Canada and Europe now enjoy.”
Payments Source was the first to announce the news, noting that Nelms backed the move to make EMV cards more secure through the use of chip and PIN while speaking at the Electronic Transactions Association’s TRANSACT 16 meeting in Las Vegas.
RetailDive.com reports that technically, Discover currently supports chip and signature for its credit cards, but Nelms said that with some cards requiring PINs and others just signatures, the environment is becoming more confusing for consumers, and that as the U.S. continues to transition to the more secure EMV cards, the switch should favor the inclusion of a PIN to further bolster consumer protections. The news source notes that Nelms said debit cards already require PIN; a discrepancy doesn’t make sense in the chip and PIN context.
“It is refreshing to see a CEO of a major payment card brand call out what we all see as obvious and [have] known for years: Two-factor digital authentication of a financial transaction is the best way to protect the consumer,” said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus. “Retailers are investing billions in EMV, so why wouldn’t all card brands take advantage of this common sense security feature?”