Retail Federation today sent a letter
to congressional leaders outlining the retail industry's commitment to
protecting sensitive consumer data in the wake of the recent
international cyber attacks and thefts.
"The National Retail Federation and our 12,000 members are committed to
combating this criminal threat to our industry and our customers, and we
strongly recommend the adoption of meaningful steps to fight cyber theft
and credit card fraud," NRF President and CEO Matthew
Shay wrote in the letter
sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. and House Speaker John
The letter reiterated the retail industry's long-held support for
replacing current credit and debit cards with cards that would store
data in an embedded computer micro-chip and require the use of a PIN
rather than a signature. Current cards use easy-to-hack 1960s technology.
"For years, banks have continued to issue fraud-prone magnetic stripe
cards to U.S. customers, putting sensitive financial information at risk
while simultaneously touting the security benefits of next-generation
PIN and Chip card technology for customers in Europe and dozens of other
markets," Shay said.
NRF expressed its support for an immediate transition from
magnetic-stripe cards to more-secure and advanced PIN and Chip cards to
better protect consumer data from theft, hacking and skimming. PIN and
Chip cards are widely used in more than 80 countries throughout Europe,
Asia and Africa.
"The retail industry is eager to work with banks and card companies to
fight cyber attacks and reduce fraud," Shay said. "These efforts include
installation of sophisticated new PIN-enabled point-of-sale-systems and
readiness to adopt cards with more secure microchip technology, but the
fact remains that retailers cannot do this alone."
NRF is the world's largest retail trade association, representing
discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main
Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation's largest private sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs - 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation's economy. NRF's
This is Retail campaign highlights the industry's opportunities for
life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the
critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com
Note to media: Read NRF's letter here.
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