NAFCU to House Small Business Committee: EMV Not a ‘Silver Bullet’ to Broader Problem of Data Security

NAFCU to House Small Business Committee: EMV Not a ‘Silver Bullet’ to Broader Problem of Data Security

Washington (Oct. 7, 2015) – State Department Federal Credit Union President and CEO Jan Roche will testify today on behalf of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) before a House Small Business Committee hearing on how credit unions are protecting consumers in the payment system, the impact of the EMV transition and what steps are needed to better protect consumer financial data moving forward. Roche is telling lawmakers that EMV “is not a ‘silver bullet’ to the broader solution of data security” and is urging action from Congress to enact H.R. 2205, the “Data Security Act of 2015.”

“NAFCU urges Congress to modernize data security laws to reflect the complexity of the current environment and insist that retailers and merchants adhere to a strong federal standard in this regard,” Roche says in her prepared testimony.

Roche, whose credit union is headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is testifying before the House Small Business Committee in today’s hearing, “The EMV Deadline and What it Means for Small Businesses,” which began at 11 a.m. Eastern.

NAFCU’s Participation in Data Security and Cyber Initiatives

Roche highlights NAFCU’s involvement in various industry and government payments, data security and cyber initiatives. NAFCU is a member of the Payments Security Task Force, a diverse group of participants in the payments industry that is driving a discussion on payments system security. NAFCU is also a member of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which work on infrastructure cybersecurity.

The EMV Transition

The EMV transition deadline established by the four major U.S. credit card issuers (Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express) was Oct. 1 of this year. Roche says that her credit union “was an early adapter to the U.S. transition, first issuing EMV cards in June of 2012 for new cards and replacements for lost and stolen cards. Our credit card portfolio of over 28,000 cards is now 100 percent EMV.”

“It is important to note that the EMV transition in the U.S. is a voluntary one established by the market, and not a government mandate,” says Roche. Consumers remain protected in the new system as “all credit cards have zero-liability provisions for consumers, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act limits consumer liability for any fraud on debit cards.”

A NAFCU study of its members found that a majority of credit unions are ready for the EMV transition and are issuing EMV credit cards to members as they issue new cards or replace oldmagnetic strips. “There is a greater cost for an EMV card for credit unions,” Roche says. She states that at her credit union, the cost (not including staff costs, set-up and postage) to produce a non-EMV card is approximately $3.04 and to produce a new EMV card it is approximately $5.81.

A study released by the Strawhecker Group on Sept. 17 of this year reported only 27 percent of merchants were going to meet the EMV deadline. “We believe that successful protection of the payments system requires all parties to be actively involved and hope that these businesses will work with the financial services community to recognize their role in making the payments system safer,” says Roche.

The PIN Debate

Roche discusses the debate among some that the EMV transition should have included a PIN mandate so consumers would be required to enter PINs for each transaction. “Imposing such a mandate or requirement would be unrealistic and would not be a panacea for the problem of data security,” Roche says. “It is the chip technology that makes new cards secure, not the PIN or signature.”

Roche states, “A truly secure payments system must be one that is constantly evolving to meet emerging threats and uses a wide range of dynamic authentication technologies – EMV, tokenization, encryption, biometrics and more.”

Credit Unions and Consumers Suffer from Data Breaches

A survey of NAFCU-member credit unions found that respondents were alerted to potential breaches an average of 164 times in 2014; two-thirds of respondents said they saw an increase in these alerts from 2013. In response to merchant data breaches that took place last year, 88.5 percent of credit union respondents said they notified a member; 65.4 percent issued new cards at a member’s request; and 57.5 percent placed a fraud alert on a member’s account.

“A credit union faces potential fines of up to $1 million per day for compliance violations,” says Roche. “In contrast, retailers are not covered by any federal laws or regulations that require them to protect the data and notify consumers when it is breached.”

Consumers are also the victims of data breaches. “Data security breaches are more than just an inconvenience to consumers as they wait for their plastic cards to be reissued,” says Roche. “Breaches often result in compromised card information leading to fraud losses, unnecessarily damaged credit ratings, and even identity theft.”

Credit Unions and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Credit unions and financial institutions have been subject to strict data security standards since the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999. “Under the rules promulgated by the NCUA, every credit union must develop and maintain an information security program to protect customer data,” says Roche. “Additionally, the rules require third-party service providers that have access to credit union data take appropriate steps to protect the security and confidentiality of the information.” Roche states the “GLBA and its implementing regulations have successfully limited data breaches among credit unions.”

Preventing Future Data Breaches

NAFCU has long argued for a national data security standard for retailers and merchants similar to what credit unions already comply with under the GLBA. In addition, NAFCU has developed a number of key principles that should be considered and incorporated into the data security debate. These include:

Payment of breach costs by breached entities
National standards for safekeeping information
Data security policy disclosure
Notification of the account servicer
Disclosure of breached entity
Enforcement of prohibition on data retention
Burden of proof in data breach cases
While some have argued that voluntary industry standards should be the solution, the recently released Verizon 2015 Payment Card Industry Compliance Report found that four out of every five global companies fail to meet the widely accepted Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards for their payment card processing systems.

Legislative Solutions

NAFCU urges Congress to support H.R. 2205, the “Data Security Act of 2015,” introduced by Reps. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, and John Carney, D-Del. This bipartisan legislation “creates a national data security standard that is flexible and scalable, does not mandate static technology solutions and recognizes those who already have a working standard under the GLBA,” Roche says.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national trade association focusing exclusively on federal issues affecting the nation’s federally insured credit unions. NAFCU membership is direct and provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education and compliance assistance.www.nafcu.org.

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Credit or Debit Card Interest, Surcharges and Fees 2013 Legislation

Interesting resource lists all state level pending legislation, and new laws, for debit and credit cards.  64 bills in 27 states have been introduced or are pending in the 2013 legislative session. Out of the total 64 bills, 44 address credit or debit card surcharges. This reconciles state laws with changes in card acceptance rules imposed by Visa, MasterCard etc.

state legislatures logo

Update 10/13/2016: Eleven states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas—and Puerto Rico have laws that prohibit merchants from charging consumers with surcharges on credit card transactions. Minnesota prohibits a seller of goods or services that establishes and is responsible for its own customer credit card from imposing a surcharge on a purchaser who elects to use that credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means.

Update May 2017: Despite US Supreme Court case and judgement, surcharging is still illegal in NYS.

Condensed merchant guide to payments related legislative updates 2010 to 2012

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including the Durbin Amendment, set off a series of changes in the financial world, several with big impacts to businesses. This bulletin reduces hundreds of pages of regulations into a a two page overview. Included are critical excerpts from each regulation, advice, and real world solutions you can use to leverage legislation to your benefit. It answers the questions-  What do I need to know, and how can I use this to improve EBITDA and reduce risk?

This reference guide is targeted primarily towards the needs of businesses that match our current and future client base. Mid to large size retail and card not present business operations including manufacturers, distributers, non-profits, utilities, retailers, and non-grocery, non-fuel entities.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:
• Lower cost debit coming soon will create huge incentive for merchants to drive debit.
• Merchants may steer customers to lower cost payment methods by offering discounts and publicly stating their preference for payment types.
• Merchants may be held criminally liable for identity theft.
• Merchants need to make it easy for customers to opt-out of recurring billing.
• Merchants updating technology should consider the flexibility they’ll have for ongoing regulation changes.

Dodd Frank Wall street reform merchant condensed report adobe PDF

Download PDF 3D Merchant Services Condensed Guide for Merchant Payments Related Legislative Updates 2010, 2011 and to 2012. An apology in advance, it was very difficult to fit and is best viewed on your screen.

Download secondary PDF about some of the solutions mentioned. 3D Merchant Payment Processing Technology to increase debit and other benefits.

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Senate Approves Debit-Card Swipe-Fee Limits in Bill

U.S. Senate lawmakers handed a victory to retailers over the issue of so-called “swipe fees” for card transactions Thursday evening (yesterday), as antibank fervor continued to play a heavy role in shaping broader regulatory overhaul legislation. Senators voted 64-33 in favor of a measure offered by Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) that would allow the Federal Reserve to regulate fees on debit card transactions, as well as allow retailers more leverage in negotiating with credit card firms and banks over the fees for card transactions. Nearly 20 Republicans voted to support the measure. The vote sent card companies falling, with Visa Inc. (V) down 7.9% to $79 and Mastercard Inc. (MA) down 7.3% to $215.30, and with Discover Financial Services (DFS) of 2.8% to $14.37 and Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) down 2.6% to $43.75.

BIG CHANGE

The amendment permits retailers to offer discounts for cash, checks or debit cards, or for a particular card brand, and would let merchants set minimums and maximums for credit-card purchases, a practice that is currently against card association rules.