Nevertheless, one day later, the message was removed after a complaint issued by The American Bankers Association. The association backs chip-and-signature cards and seeks to ditch PIN technology.
The FBI declined to comment on the message or why it was taken down. In the U.S, there’s an ongoing debate over whether PIN-and-chip credit cards would be better than signature-with-chip cards.
Retailers prefer CIP technology because it is safer, while bankers and credit card issuers would rather ditch the technology and base their chip-enabled cards’ security on a signature only.
The ABA contacted the federal agency on the same day it posted the message on its site asking for a revision of the public service announcement (PSA). The association argued that the message may produce ‘confusion’ among credit card holders.
The ABA also said that the PSA was not “reflective of the U.S. marketplace,” and asking from customers to request PIN technology with new credit cards may produce confusion on the market.
Doug Johnson, the VP of ABA’s payments and cybersecurity division, told reporters Thursday that the FBI would revise its post but he wasn’t sure when. Visa and MasterCard also expected that the federal agency would alter its original post. But no one thought that it would be taken down for good.
Visa is one of the most vocal supporters of signature technology in chip cards, while the Merchant Advisory Group and National Retail Federation are the major players that back PIN technology in the new cards.
Retailers explained in a recent statement that PINs are crucial for cardholders’ security as the FBI is concerned about pinless chip cards’ security. Brian Dodge of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, deemed the FBI’s message a “wake-up call” for bankers and credit card companies that oppose PIN technology in the U.S.
But the ABA said that PIN technology would not be available in the U.S. Yet, the FBI said in its PSA that cardholders should use a PIN to verify transactions although credit card issuers didn’t provide the new cards with PINs. Only older debit cards still have PINs, and many retailers do not accept yet chip-embedded debit cards.
Although the FBI wrote that pinless technology may expose customers to fraudsters, bankers explained that chips were designed to prevent fraud when hackers breach into the retailers’ computer servers.
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