The following content is sponsored by the Electronic Payments Coalition.
With data thieves and hackers working around the clock, banks and financial institutions spend billions of dollars on data security and are held to strict data security compliance requirements. Because of these investments and safeguards, Americans overwhelmingly trust our nation’s financial institutions to protect and safeguard their data.
But a new credit bill, backed by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Kansas Senator Roger Marshall, threatens these trusted protections.
If passed, their legislation is poised to detrimentally impact credit card services, rewards, and consumer data security–all to line the pockets of the largest corporations like Target and Walmart.
The Durbin-Marshall bill seeks to disrupt the entire landscape of the current American credit card system. First, mandates will cause credit cards to be directed through entirely new, untested, and unknown processing networks. In turn, this allows mega-stores to cut corners and turn to a cheaper, less secure router, ultimately increasing the risk of unauthorized access to your financial data.
As mega-stores have proven time and time again through infamous data breaches, they do not prioritize data security. In contrast, traditional banks have demonstrated a commitment to investing in the protection of their customers’ information.
A recent research report offers greater insights into the ways that moving routing decisions from banks to corporate retailers will lead to a heightened risk of data breaches. Retailers regularly fall victim to data breaches. Wawa, Home Depot and Target experienced malware attacks that compromised the credit and debit card data of over 127 million people.
Most data breach cases occur because corporations choose to cut corners with security matters at the expense of protecting their customers. Until after their data breach, Home Depot did not even have a chief information security officer. In Wawa’s case, Attorneys General stated that the company did not even have “reasonable security measures in place to protect customer data.”
After the breaches occurred, none of these mega-stores admitted to the slightest bit of wrongdoing. Not only are these greedy establishments irresponsible, they feel no remorse for the part they played in endangering the safety and security of their customers.
The Durbin-Marshall credit bill will lead to less investment in data protection and less security. By offering the chance for greedy corporate mega-stores to cut costs, even at the expense of their own customer base, the Senators are just giving mega-stores the chance to line their ever-growing pockets and compete against Main Street businesses.
Americans deserve more data protection in today’s day and age, not less. Our private data and financial information should be just that–private.
It’s up to Congress now to decide what’s more important–protecting the livelihood of everyday, hard-working Americans, or helping Home Depot, Target, Walmart and friends make a few extra bucks. If they really care about protecting their constituents, it shouldn’t be a hard choice to make.