ABA’s Sharp: Consumers Deserve Safest Payment Systems

ABA’s Card Policy Council today called on all consumer-facing industries to implement the latest payment protection technologies and data safeguarding practices, including activating chip card readers and accepting payments from secure mobile wallets.

“Consumers deserve strong, consistent safeguards to stop the loss of private information to criminals,” said ABA SVP Jess Sharp. “As retailers store increasingly sensitive consumer data, they should be held to the same standards as credit card issuers.”

Financial institutions — which have long been subject to robust data safeguarding standards — have led the way in developing cutting-edge solutions to protect consumers, including issuing chip cards, deploying new technologies such as tokenization and biometrics, providing round-the-clock fraud protection and offering customers zero liability and other purchase protections. But as Sharp pointed out, other industries still have little or no oversight of their data security practices.

“Hackers are hitting the weak points in the transaction chain, which are often exempt from the robust safeguards that banks have supported for decades,” Sharp said. “By using the latest technology and best people, banks and payment networks will continue to fight back against the international criminal rings that are trying to defraud consumers. We remain eager to further engage other sectors in this important mission.”

Congress is currently considering the Data Security Act — part of ABA’s Agenda for America’s Hometown Banks — which would ensure that all entities that handle sensitive consumer financial information have robust data safeguards in place.