Discover Pushes for Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards
Discover’s Chairman and CEO David Nelms announced the credit card company will start transitioning to chip-and-PIN technology, as opposed to chip-and-signature. This mitigation could ultimately help make Discover cards more secure, and will allow more uniformity across the network’s payment cards.
PINs are more secure than signatures because they are unique to each user. A cashier at a checkout counter may not verify a person’s signature during a transaction, but a machine will automatically verify if a PIN is valid. Consumers are already accustomed to using PINs with their debit cards, so asking them to use PINS for credit cards is not a foreign concept. Doing so could provide significantly better security for the already-improved security system (chip cards vs. magnetic strip cards).
Having the backing of a credit card giant like Discover could help push the entire American card market toward chip and PIN cards. Attorneys General from eight states have already joined forces to request a transition to chip and PIN. Target was the first major retailer to convert its store cards to chip and PIN, but a number of others have followed since then. This could be the start of another payment revolution in America for better card security.
“Banks and other card issuers should follow Discover’s lead and make a commitment to providing American consumers with the same level of security that consumers in Canada and Europe now enjoy,” said Austen Jensen, vice president of government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.