Over the past few months all payments stakeholders have taken a major step forward in payments security. Millions of Americans have received chip cards and thousands of retailers have taken steps to turn on chip readers, making those cards virtually impossible to counterfeit. Instead of a applauding this step forward, a small number of retailer trade associations have instead focused their efforts on mandating the use of PINs to authenticate transactions.
This single-minded campaign has generated bemusement among security experts who recognize that PINs would not stop merchant breaches, like those at Target, Home Depot or Michael’s and that PIN fraud has increased threefold between 2004 and 2012. And now, it is increasingly clear that this campaign doesn’t even align with the positions and experiences of many of the retailers who belong to these trade associations.