Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin and the Hawaii Bankers Association have come out against EMV or “chip and PIN” technology for payment cards.
Their opposition comes at a time of transition in the American payments industry, with new regulations on fraud liability offering compelling merchants across the country to embrace EMV technology at the POS. This fall, the Attorney Generals of Georgia and Connecticut issued a public letter supporting the introduction of EMV technology and called on other Attorneys General across the US to add their support by signing the letter. The HBA and Attorney General Chin are now publicly opposing the letter on the grounds that it focuses too narrowly on chip and PIN technology and ignores the more advanced security offered by technologies such as biometric authentication; the HBA’s president has even specifically pointed to the prominence of the iPhone’s Touch ID security in arguing for the consideration of such security. (Georgia’s Attorney General has since retracted his support of the letter, as well.)
The issue helps to highlight the complexity of security in the digital transformation sweeping across the payments industry. The FBI also recently issued a PSA highlighting the limits of EMV security, but at the same time it acknowledged EMV as offering better security than standard PINs; and the head of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) has also been keen to insist that EMV technology “is not a silver bullet” when it comes to fighting fraud.
It may be a case of the perfect being made the enemy of the good. EMV technology is undeniably more secure than standard PIN security, but it doesn’t stand as an entirely separate option from biometric security; in fact, the two often go together, as in the case of Apple Pay. But as the entire US payments industry struggles to adapt to a changing technological landscape, it’s fair to expect more confusion over these issues in the coming months.
Source: Pacific Business News
November 13, 2015 – by Alex Perala