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  • A few words from Barbara Kamm, CEO – February 2014

    As a consumer, when I walk into a Target, a Lucky supermarket, or any retailer for that matter, one thing I expect is safety and security when I choose my form of payment. It should be a “no brainer.” I pay and no one is the wiser as to my credit or debit card information. This is something we have come to expect and count on in this country. Unfortunately, as we are all too aware, there have been several serious and large data breaches in recent months.

    Ironically, the financial institution that issues the card bears the cost of any fraudulent activity from the breach — not the retailer. In an effort to safeguard cardholders even more, the financial industry is investing considerable time and expense in moving towards “chip and pin” technology by October 2015, and Tech CU will be ready by that date, but that’s no panacea. I recently read a quote from Bill Cheney, president of CUNA (Credit Union National Association), stating that, “The retailers offer no credible explanation of how this (chip and pin) technology would have prevented the type of breaches that have recently occurred.”

    The good news is that CUNA has asked for and received legislative hearings on this matter — to determine why retailers can’t prevent these breaches and to hold them accountable. We are pushing for legislation that would in effect: “Ensure that merchants be subject to the same type of data security standards that credit unions follow; that merchants be required to reimburse credit unions for the costs they incur as a result of merchant data breaches; and that credit unions be permitted to identify the merchant where the data breach occurred.”

    In terms of the safety of your Tech CU accounts, we use advanced technology to monitor activity on a daily basis. We also have very strict fraud and security guidelines. We are doing everything possible to keep your financial life safe and secure — now we need Congress to follow through to make sure that the merchants you frequent and trust are doing the same and not passing the cost of their failures along to our credit union members.

    Consider writing your local congressional representative to voice your concerns about the safety and soundness of your card usage.

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