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Wal-Mart to issue EMV MasterCards within next few weeks
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (8/29/14)--Wal-Mart announced holders of its branded MasterCard will be receiving new cards with EMV (Europay-Visa-MasterCard) chips embedded within the next few weeks.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Payments Security Task Force (PST), an organization made up of more than a dozen companies and organizations, announced that 575 million EMV cards will be issued by the end of 2015 ( News Now Aug. 14).

EMV, which stands for the companies that developed the technology, is a new global standard that would replace the magnetic strip on cards with an embedded chip. Instead of swiping, customers insert the cards into compatible point-of-sale terminals.

The chip-embedded cards are considered more secure against fraud since authentication provided by the use of a PIN and cryptographic algorithms are more difficult to duplicate.

The Credit Union National Association is a member of the PST, and Eric Richard, CUNA general counsel/executive vice president for regulatory affairs, said that EMV cards are picking up momentum within the financial industry.

Richard also said that there is still a question about whether the merchant community will be prepared to make the full-time change, as well as a need for all stakeholders to continue working on security strategies to combat data breaches.

In October 2015, organizations deploying EMV cards will be protected from financial liability from card-present counterfeit fraud losses.

Guy Chiarello, president of First Data, a global payment processing firm, said his company is encouraging institutions to launch EMV plans as soon as possible before the October 2015 deadline.

"Issuing EMV now will benefit consumers by making the most secure payment card available sooner, while reducing fraud losses and enhancing payments system security for all," he said.

The EMV Migration Forum has estimated that approximately 100 million EMV cards, approximately 9% of the card base, will be issued by the end of 2014. Javelin Strategy and Research estimates that 52% of point-of-sale terminals will be EMV-enabled by the end of 2015.

Wal-Mart currently has EMV terminals in more than 4,600 stores already, including all Sam's Club locations. According to a statement, terminals in the remaining U.S. stores will be activated by the end of this year.


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