The new credit card and the rewards program tied to it will be made available to shoppers beginning in just a few weeks when it is rolled-out on June 23rd. The card which is co-branded with Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) and issued by GE Capital Retail Bank is a milestone in security and fraud prevention. While there are certainly cards on the market that offer this same level of protection, known as EMV, this is the first time that a major retailer has begun to offer it in the States.
The EMV advanced computer chip technology is expected to be adopted by a number of companies in the coming months, following an announcement in March that was made jointly between rivals Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) that each would look to speed up the adoption of the new cards that make it more difficult to counterfeit credit card.
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New credit card: But still no PIN adoption
One notable name missing from the list of banks, retailers, merchant processors, and others interested in the technology was the National Retail Foundation that found the plans announced by Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) lacking and a “half-baked solution.”
“They’re not serious about reducing fraud, unless they put a pin on,” said Mallory Duncan, the NRF’s general counsel.
“We remain insistent that U.S. retailers’ customers be given the same protections as consumers in more than 80 countries who have both a chip and a PIN securing their debit and credit cards,” Duncan said in a statement.
Better late than never?
Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) set an October 2015 for retailers to embrace the technology more broadly despite the NRF’s complaints. The NRF has maintained that retailers will upgrade their technology to accept the new credit cards along with a PIN at their own pace.
Following numerous data breaches of retailers in the last year, including a massive one at Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) that so nearly 40 million customers’ financial information acquired by hackers, the need for a more secure technology is obvious.
“This move by Sam’s Club makes them a trailblazer in getting chip cards in the hands of businesses and consumers, and leading the push toward a safer and more secure customer experience,” Chris McWilton, MasterCard’s North American president, said Tuesday night. “This will no doubt help drive chip-enabled technology forward here in the U.S. as it gains more traction.”