Visa CEO: We need better security, EMV chips, tokens

Visa CEO: We need better security, EMV chips, tokens

Summary: Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said his company will "continue to move the industry towards the adoption of new safeguards including EMV chip and tokenization."

TOPICS: Security, E-Commerce

Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said the data breaches at retailers highlight the need for new security technologies as well as the adoption of chip and tokens.

The comments come after data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus. 

emv chip

Scharf, in Visa's fiscal first quarter earnings release, said:

The recent series of data compromises are terribly unfortunate for everyone involved. However, the established and well understood rules that govern traditional networks coupled with the cooperation between merchants, financial institutions, and the networks have minimized the level of the monetary losses. But these incidents remind us of the need for all of us to continue to work together to secure payments from criminals. Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available and will continue to move the industry towards the adoption of new safeguards including EMV chip and tokenization. We also will work with all participants to look beyond these technologies.

EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chips are commonly used in Europe where credit cards have integrated circuits as an additional layer of security. In the U.S. these chips have been proposed and put off for years. Credit card companies in the U.S. are coming around to them slowly. American Express issues EMV cards for customers that travel internationally. Other banks issue EMV cards as an option.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart already have systems that can take EMV cards.

Given the breaches at Target, Nieman Marcus and others chances are better that EMV cards have more of a shot in the U.S.


Topics: Security, E-Commerce

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • implant a user ssl certificate in everyone and be done with it

  • I'm just curious...

    ...about the statement " secure payments from criminals". What on earth is he trying to say here? And this guy is a CEO...really?
    • to secure, as in "to protect, to defend"

      You might wanna read the Declaration of Independence, sometime. Paragraph 2, sentence 2: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
  • Visa

    Visa beat estimates as we are bullish on Visa. for mroe info
  • Ask for ID

    One thing that would help a lot is to require merchants to ask for an ID when someone uses a credit card. The card companies actually tell the merchants they can't ask for ID. The merchants can also refuse cards that say SEE ID instead of a signature.

    I'm working on my own story related to this. It's interesting that VISA and Mastercard are, in a sense, operating as a defacto government for matters such as these
  • Not So Fast

    It would be nice if the reporting on EMV terminals were a little more precise. I have an EMV card and have yet to find a US retailer that will accept it. Although stores from chains like Walmart and Home Depot have terminals that accept the cards, the terminal slot is not activated and requires swiping the mag strip. When I asked the Walmart store why, they said only EBT (welfare) cards would work in the EMV slot.
  • Asleep at the switch

    Hey! Glad to see you wake up. Welcome to last decade, Charlie Scharf. You're throwing around phrases like "Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available", but your actions say "we won't expend one ounce of effort on security until we're dragged". And if you're being dragged along anyway, might as well run up to the front of the parade and make it look like you're leading it.
  • Yeah, sure, NOW your cards are insecure....

    People have been complaining about the insecurity of the non-EMV equipped US cards for years. Now that the Target debacle has happened, suddenly Visa wants to close that barn door that they left open for years.

    Gee, thanks Visa.
  • More of a shot !?!

    They should be racing with all haste to get the EMV chips cards adopted and in use!
    How many more $Billions$ will they allow the criminals to steal from us before they make it happen! This is a HUGE FAILURE of both the credit industry, merchants, and government overseers!