Sen. Warner urges bank regulators to require chip-and-Pin cards

On the heels of President Obama’s call for stronger cybersecurity protections on Monday, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Overnight Tech: Senate Dems want FCC chief recused from Sinclair merger | Tech rallies on Capitol Hill for DACA | Facebook beefs up lobbying ranks Facebook adds two lobbyists amid Russia probe MORE, (D-Va.) called on regulators to force banks to issue chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards to better protect American consumers from data breaches. 

“The President’s measure takes strong steps towards ensuring cards used by the federal government have enhanced security authentication measures,” he said in a letter to Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve System; Martin Gruenberg, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Thomas Curry, comptroller of the currency; and Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Bureau on Monday. 

“I have concerns, however, that as merchants spend billions of dollars this year to upgrade their infrastructure to accept chip-and-PIN enabled cards, there is an insufficient emphasis being placed by federal banking regulators on ensuring a meaningful improvement in consumer safety with the corresponding issuance of chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards in the private sector. “

He asked why the financial institutions these regulators oversee continue to issue chip-and-signature cards when better anti-fraud technology and authentication measures exist.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association  RILA) applauded President Obama for focusing on cyber and data security. Among the legislation unveiled Monday was the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, a bill that would require all corporations to notify consumers within a month if their personal information had been exposed in a data breach.

“Retailers have demonstrated a commitment to working with policymakers to enhance cybersecurity, carefully steward customer data and strengthen consumer trust,” RILA President Sandy Kennedy said in a statement. 

“We encourage all policymakers to recognize the importance of prioritizing the collaboration and flexibility needed to promote retail innovation.”