'Chip-and-PIN' a focal point during Senate Judiciary hearing

Last week, this blog covered the news that several retail executives and industry leaders would be heading to Washington to answer questions in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Target security breach.

According to an article from Yahoo News, among the conversation of who knew what happened and when, an interesting topic emerged — how EMV and "chip-and-PIN" technology can add another layer of security and needs to be adopted sooner rather than later.

"It is of concern to me that our payment card systems really do need improvement," Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the hearing. She added that "based on the latest information available to us ... it's clear that companies need to do a lot more, that they continue to make basic mistakes."

Target executives said they will be speeding up a planned $100 million program to implement the use of chip-enabled smart cards to protect against the theft. Chief Financial Officer and executive vice president John Mulligan went as far as to say that there needs to be closer collaboration between the financial industry and retailers to move collectively on chip-and-PIN.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said during the hearing that EMV is something that has been widely used in Europe and could easily be deployed in the U.S. much earlier. He added that industries have "some soul searching" ahead of them when of them when it comes to sufficiently protecting customer data.

It seems clear that EMV technology is on the radar for many companies. With the payment industry changing rapidly, businesses need to stay on top of this or risk falling behind.

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