Breaches exposed 1 in 7 US debit cards in 2013

July 3, 2014 – 4:56 AM

Data breaches at retailers and financial services companies exposed 14 percent of all U.S. debit cards in 2013, according to a nationwide survey by a major ATM network operator.

The figure is three times that of 2012 and comes as consumers are using debit cards to make more purchases than ever before.

The survey, conducted by Discover Financial Services’ Pulse ATM network, found that the majority of affected cards were exposed in a single event: the Target data breach that compromised some 70 million customer records in late 2013.

Around 10 percent of all U.S. debit cards were affected in the Target incident, and the majority of financial institutions affected were pushed to reissue cards.

The Target breach will likely encourage a faster switch to so-called “EMV” cards, which contain a microchip rather than a magnetic strip, and require a PIN for authorization rather than a signature.

While EMV is already standard in Europe, U.S. banks and credit unions dragged their feet on the technology, but the Target breach has pushed the industry to a tipping point, said Pulse. Two-thirds of financial institutions plan to begin issuing EMV cards in 2015.


You must be logged in to post a comment.