President Obama Orders New Credit Card Security Initiative

President Obama Orders New Credit Card Security Initiative
Image: Pixabay
October 27, 2014

President Obama signed an executive order on Friday launching the new BuySecure Initiative, which aims to encourage retailers to set up more-advanced, fraud-proof payment systems.

The White House said in a press release that the Initiative "takes critical steps to protect consumers' financial security and improve confidence in the marketplace."

According to a statement on the Initiative issued by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), part of the plan is for government-issued debit and credit cards to include PIN and chip technology that helps protect against the data hacking, identity theft and online fraud experienced by some 100 million Americans over the past year.

With PIN and chip technology, credit and debit cards will contain embedded microchips instead of magnetic strips, and face-to-face transactions will require consumers to type-in their personal identification number (PIN) prior to making an in-store purchase.

Federal payment card terminals will be updated to support the technology. American Express has pledged $10 million to help small businesses upgrade their systems accordingly, and Visa says that it will create a campaign to promote secure-payment technologies.

Backed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the BuySecure Initiative will also set up a one-stop online resource for identity theft victims at Identitytheft.gov.

"Retailers applaud the president's action to advance card security," said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "This announcement should serve as a catalyst for widespread adoption of PIN and chip card security."