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Survey says majority of business owners unconcerned about card security
NEW YORK (3/7/14)--As the Credit Union National Association works for merchant accountability for breaches to their data systems,  the results of a new study show a startlingly high 67% of business owners polled are not concerned about credit card security at their businesses.
Newtek Business Services, with a portfolio of more than 100,000 business accounts, announced the findings of its latest Small Business Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly snapshot of the concerns of independent business owners.
"Based on a poll of over 1,400 respondents, one of the key findings from the February survey is that even after the recent hackings at major companies such as Target and Neiman Marcus, 67% of business owners are not concerned about credit card security at their business," Newtek said in a release. Newtek is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.

What's more, Newtek reported, 63% of business owners are unaware of Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) chip card technology. EMV is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology.

The Credit Union National Association supports the adoption of EMV technology--which goes beyond magnetic stripes and contain an embedded chip for stronger security. However, CUNA strongly emphasizes that no one technology can address the burgeoning problem of merchant data breaches.

As the credit union trade association has underscored in a series of letters to federal lawmakers, inconsistent data security standards need to be addressed before a solution to merchant data breaches can be achieved.

"(A) prime reason that merchant data breaches are a chronic issue is because data security standards are inconsistent among the participants in the payments system," CUNA has pointed out, adding, "Simply put: credit unions and other financial institutions are subject to high data protection standards under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; merchants are not. When merchant data breaches occur, financial institutions--not merchants--bear the costs of replacing credit and debit cards and fraud costs."

In another EMV development, CO-OP Financial Services welcomed a recent agreement for debit EMV security standards between Visa Inc. and First Data STAR Network, a major electronic funds transfer system. (News Now March 6)
The credit union-owned ATM network operator said Feb. 26 that a number of its clients are in the STAR Network, and that it is also seeking to implement similar protective technologies like the one Visa and First Data hope to spread through their agreement.

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