Wal-Mart Pushing for Chip-and-pin Payment Cards in U.S., Report Says

Wal-Mart wants to see chip-and-pin payment cards adopted in the United States in effort to better secure financial transactions, according to a report from the Smart Card Alliance event this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"We are working on implementing it in the U.S. It's time for chip-and-PIN in the U.S.," said Jamie Henry, Wal-Mart director of payment services, according to online publication StorefrontBacktalk.

Payment cards in the United States are based on simpler magnetic stripe technology, not smartcard-based chip-and-PIN, which are deployed more throughout Europe and elsewhere, most with the EMV standard, which Wal-Mart supports outside the United States. Many make the argument that smartcard-based chip-and-PIN payment cards are more secure than magnetic stripe for a variety of reasons, including that it's fairly easy for fraudsters to clone magnetic stripes.

Wal-Mart was not immediately available to comment.

The debate over credit card data security has heated up over the past year, in the wake of the infamous Heartland Payment Systems breach that resulted information affecting more than 100 million credit cards being stolen. Network World recently hosted an online debate on this issue.

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