The chorus to discard signatures for EMV and go to PIN transactions is growing. FBI that new chip-based credit cards are safer than traditional cards but still vulnerable to fraud and need to be used with a PIN instead of a signature to minimize risk.
The FBI echoes the same message as the National Retail Federation.
In a warning issued this week to consumers, merchants and law enforcement, the FBI praised Europay MasterCard Visa chip cards as being more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards, but said they are “still vulnerable to fraud.” Despite card industry claims that the chips are difficult to counterfeit, the FBI said the cards “can be counterfeited using stolen card data obtained from the black market.” The bureau also said the chip “will not likely” stop stolen or counterfeit cards from being used online or in telephone purchases.
NRF has argued for years that the new cards should have both a chip and a secret PIN, or personal identification number, saying that the combination of both is required to provide sufficient security. While chips make the new cards more difficult to counterfeit, the chip can be circumvented, and the chips do nothing to protect lost and stolen cards from being used. A PIN could prevent all of those types of fraud, even without the chip.
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