Recent high-profile data breaches at large retailers underscore the critical need for stronger and more innovative security solutions that protect consumers. But to protect consumers’ data, we need dynamic technology solutions, not one-size-fits-all mandates that lock in the technologies of yesterday.

Credit card issuers and payment networks are working with businesses and consumers to make paying for goods and services more secure.


EMV chip technology is an important step for payments security. Banks are supplementing the magnetic stripe on the back of a card with a chip that creates a unique cryptogram for each transaction. By October 2015, banks must issue cards with chip capability, while retailers must have terminals to accept them. Should an issuer or retailer not be compliant and fraud occurs, the non-compliant party will bear full responsibility for any fraud losses at points of sale.

Banks are already issuing chip cards, with 575 million cards expected to be issued by the end of 2015.


Technology must never stop evolving, and credit card issuers are introducing new technologies that will help fight future threats, including:

  • Tokenization is a feature designed to protect customers making purchases online or with their phones and is gradually being implemented.

  • Point-to-Point Encryption is the process of ensuring data is rendered unreadable as it travels along the payments network from the consumer to the merchant to the bank.

Polling from Ipsos shows that Americans are ready to adapt to mobile and digital platforms. However, security is still important when it comes to deciding which payment method to use – 94 percent of consumers identified security as a feature they consider when paying for goods and services.

Read more about the future of payments at The Credit Line’s “The Future of Payments” issue.


Technology must address the realities of an increasingly digital economy, not be mandated to a single method. The move away from static technologies towards dynamic ones is underway and consumers will benefit.

The security threat facing the payment card industry is a complex problem that cannot be solved by any single technology, standard, mandate or regulation. It also cannot be solved by a single sector of society—businesses, standards-setting bodies, policymakers, and law enforcement must work together to protect the financial and privacy interests of consumers.

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $15 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $11 trillion in deposits and extend more than $8 trillion in loans.

© 2015 American Bankers Association