ABA’s Johnson: Chip, Not PIN, Key to Securing Card Transactions

Responding in The Hill to claims by a retailer trade group, ABA SVP Doug Johnson made the case today that the chip in new EMV cards is the key to securing card transaction — not the PIN, as retailers have argued.

“Not a single major data breach over the last few years could have been prevented with a PIN,” Johnson wrote. “The high profile data breaches that resulted in millions of Americans having their card accounts compromised weren’t caused by petty thieves swiping cards out of wallets — they were caused by criminals exploiting cracks in the retailers’ security systems.”

Johnson explained how banks have been “working around the clock” to issue chip cards — with 575 million expected to be issued by the end of the year. “These cards produce a one-time transaction code that can’t be guessed or re-used for future payments, thus adding a dynamic, ever-changing layer of security on top of static card information like account numbers,” he added. “The EMV chip, not the PIN, is the key to keeping sensitive information safe by making the financial data nearly impossible for criminals to create, sell and use for counterfeit cards.”