NRF Blames Card Industry for Slow Chip Card Transition

October 4, 2016, Written By Bill Hardekopf
POS Terminal with credit card isolated on a white background

A bottleneck in the approval process of new chip card terminals have left thousands of new chip card readers unused, leading to less secure transactions, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

The survey found 86% of retailers will have the EMV chip card technology implemented by the end of this year. Of those who do not have this technology, 57% said the equipment is installed, but they are waiting for certification by the card industry. 60% said they had been waiting for six months or longer.

“Most major retailers have done their part, but the card industry continues to drop the ball,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Retailers have spent billions of dollars to install the new equipment but card companies have failed to sign off on the installations in a timely manner. Many retailers have had new chip card readers sitting next to their cash registers for a year waiting for the card companies’ blessing. We wish they cared as much about security as we do.

“This is frustrating for retailers and confusing for consumers,” Duncan said. “Worst of all, the new cards provide just a fraction of the security they could because they are only chip-and-signature rather than the chip-and-PIN used throughout the rest of the industrialized world. Without a secret PIN, virtually any illegible scrawl of a signature is good enough for a criminal to use an innocent person’s credit card with or without a chip.”

Chip cards make it difficult to create counterfeit cards from stolen card data. The NRF said they are working on tokenization and encryption technologies that will make it more difficult to steal card data.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 4, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.