SACRAMENTO, Calif. (1/8/14)--The massive, pre-holiday card data security breach at Target serves to illustrate the serious need for tougher card- and cyber-security measures to protect consumers, according to an op-ed piece by Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
In the Saturday issue of The Sacramento Bee, Dykstra called for toughening the "dangerously weak credit and debit card security measures employed by U.S. retailers."
"For starters, we should ask American retailers to issue credit cards like those that are in widespread use in most other nations," she wrote. "These cards feature hard-to-replicate digital chips to store account information."
U.S. retailers' reliance on magnetic-strip cards make them "prime targets" for fraud, she said, encouraging consumers, the financial services industry and lawmakers to talk about considering technology such as Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip-and-PIN cards.
Dykstra also called for cyber-security legislation at the national level that will hold those that conduct debit and credit transactions responsible for system breaches.
These steps are in the best interest of retailers, financial institutions and, most importantly, the consumers that they all serve, she concluded.
The cost of the breach, which affected more than 40 million consumers, will fall on the shoulders of the shoppers and their financial institutions, she said. Credit unions have to reissue and distribute replacement cards, and the cost of fraudulent transactions suffered by members will have to be covered.
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