Visa and MasterCard launch cross-industry effort to push US adoption of EMV
07 March 2014 | 11256 views | 4
In the wake of the Target data breach, rivals MasterCard and Visa have joined forces to create a cross-industry group that will push for greater payment security, beginning with the introduction of EMV chip technology in the US.
The two card giants have not named any members of their new collective but say it will include banks of all sizes, credit unions, acquirers, retailers, point-of-sale device manufacturers and industry trade groups.
Top of the agenda is "advancing" the migration to EMV in the US. Visa and MasterCard have already set out a roadmap for the introduction of chip cards over the next couple of years, with liability for fraud-related loses switching to retailers that have not upgraded their hardware in October 2015.
However, the programme has gained urgency since the Target breach of late last year, which saw hackers infect POS devices and steal the details of around 40 million customer cards.
The scale of the attack has seen some squabbling between retailers and card issuers but has also - under pressure from politicians and regulators - forced industry participants to come together to tackle the security problem.
Ryan McInerney, president, Visa, says: "The recent high-profile breaches have served as a catalyst for much needed collaboration between the retail and financial services industry on the issue of payment security."
Differences between the two sides still remain, however, with retailers pushing Visa and MasterCard to mandate the use of Chip and PIN at the store-front.
The National Retail Federation SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan says: "We appreciate being involved in meetings with other stakeholders such as the one hosted by Visa and MasterCard. While we certainly agree that speed is of the essence, we don't believe that is an obstacle to introducing PIN and Chip cards since the technology is well established and the cards are widely used around the globe."
While Chip and PIN remains a moot point, the new group will also work to develop other security features such as point-to-point encryption and tokenisation for online and mobile transactions. Visa and MasterCard threw their weight behind tokenisation - where traditional account numbers are replaced with unique digital payment codes - late last year.
Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets, MasterCard, says: "Only through industry collaboration and cooperation will we address the real and immediate issue of security and maintain consumer confidence and trust."