Target Transitions to Chip-Enabled Smart-Card Technology in Stores

February 4, 2014 - Article reads in

Since the recent Target data breach, the company has taken measures to reassure guests and keep all stakeholders informed as the investigation progresses. From offering guests one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to investing $5 million in a new cybersecurity coalition, Target has helped provide context for important conversations about data security and how to avoid consumer scams.

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, organizations from both the public and private sectors must utilize stronger, more sophisticated technology to prevent digital crime.

Today, Target announced the company is accelerating its implementation of smart card technology designed to dramatically reduce the threat of credit and debit card fraud.

Target will equip its proprietary REDcards and all of its store card readers in the U.S. with chip-enabled (EMV) smart-card technology by the first quarter of 2015, more than six months ahead of previous plans. The accelerated effort is part of a $100 million project to put in place chip-enabled technology in all of Target’s nearly 1,800 U.S. Stores.

Chip-enabled smart cards contain a tiny microprocessor chip that encrypts transaction data shared with sales terminals used by merchants. As a result, even if the card number is stolen in a data breach, the thieves cannot counterfeit the card. Similar technology already use in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia has drastically reduced the incidence of fraud for consumers at physical store locations.

The United States is one of the last industrialized countries to migrate to EMV, but this is about to change, as American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa have unveiled their plans to migrate the U.S. to EMV by October 2015.

So what does this really mean for shoppers? Take a look below…

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