Calling for Added Security to Prevent Credit Card Fraud
The FBI and The National Retail Federation agree, U.S.banks should join the rest of the world in offering so-called, "chip-and-pin" credit card technology to secure purchases.
Craig Shearman, vice president for Government Relations with The National Retail Federation says the chips in American credit cards are difficult, but not impossible, to replicate. And when the chips are down a "pin," or personal identification number instead of a signature throws another hurdle in front of fraudsters.
"It is the right thing to do, and we hope the banks are listening," Shearman said. "The pin number alone could stop credit card fraud if you didn't have the chip. I can give you my card, whether it has a chip or not, and if all you have to do is sign for it, you can go sign my name to it and nobody is going to know the difference. But if it has a PIN and they don't tell you the PIN, that card is absolutely worthless."
Shearman says the FBI agrees with "chip-and-pin" security, and they have added their voice to the growing chorus calling for American credit card issuers to get with it.
"They shouldn't lock the front door and leave the back door wide open," Shearman said.
The FBI has praised Europay MasterCard Visa chip cards as being more secure than the old magnetic stripe found here. The bureau also makes the point that the chip or magnetic stripe will not stop stolen or counterfeit cards from being used online or in telephone purchases.
Shearman says the pin number is harder to get around that just a simple customer scrawl on a purchase approval.
"The signature is just an illegible scrawl that really means nothing, where a PIN number is a secret, secure number that you keep in your head and nobody else know it except you,"
Shearman said. "They have been able to dismiss retailers concerns for whatever reason. But here is the FBI, the top law enforcement institution in the country, saying that PINs are required for security. So if the FBI says it is necessary, we think that's a pretty strong argument that it really is necessary."