Lawmakers want secure payments sooner

Senators are pushing credit card companies to accelerate efforts to make payment methods more secure.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on data breaches Tuesday, senators questioned the efforts of MasterCard and Visa to incorporate chip technology into their credit cards.

ADVERTISEMENT
MasterCard and Visa plan for these “chip card” systems to be widespread by October 2015, Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenEx-White House ethics counsel: More evidence against Trump than there ever was against Nixon 100 days after House passage, Gillibrand calls on Senate to act on sexual harassment reform Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties MORE (D-Minn.) said. “I wish that could be hurried.”

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoConservative justices signal willingness to uphold travel ban Former Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii dies at 93 Dems to top DOJ officials: Publicly promise not to interfere in Mueller's probe MORE (D-Hawaii) asked witnesses whether Congress should write legislation to encourage MasterCard and Visa to implement this newer, more secure technology more quickly.

The hearing comes after weeks of news reports about major U.S. companies — including retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus and hotel chains — have suffered data breaches, impacting the data of U.S. consumers. More secure payment technology would protect consumers in these instances, lawmakers said.

Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel at Consumers Union, encouraged lawmakers to consider putting that kind of pressure on the credit card companies.

Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan — who testified at the hearing — said that the company is accelerating its efforts to equip store credit cards with this chip technology. 

“It is technologies like that that we think are important, and we are committed to accelerating our efforts,” he said.