Why the U.S. is not Rushing to Adopt Chip and PIN Credit Cards?

Another article, this one in MainStreet.com reminds us that the U.S. is migrating to EMV chip cards relying on signature and not PIN for cardholder verification.

Matt Schulz, senior credit card industry analyst for CreditCards.com, notes that chip and signature is still a major step forward for credit card security in the U.S. However, he is disappointed that issuers are stopping there. Simply put, chip-and-PIN cards are more secure, because it’s easier to forge someone’s signature than to know their PIN,” he says. “And I do understand banks’ reluctance to add another layer of change into transition by adding a PIN, but the truth is that Americans are already accustomed to using PINs. Everyone already uses them with their debit card, so adding them on to a credit card purchase wouldn’t exactly be taking people into uncharted waters.”

Although issuers clearly understand the pros and cons of signature versus PIN, some issuers are waiting to make their next investment in cards a more holistic one, solving the issues surrounding data breaches and card fraud in a variety of environments.

“In the U.S., there is still work that must be done and investments that need to be made across many industry stakeholder groups, including issuers, acquirers and merchants, to ensure the usability of chip and PIN for credit cards at the point of sale,” says American Express spokeswoman Molly Faust. “It’s also important to note that chip and pin will not prevent all types of fraud, including online fraud. We believe the most effective way to combat fraud is to deliver a multi-layered detection and prevention strategy.”

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