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Congress looking to Chip and PIN to fight security breaches

US Congress is looking into the possibility of speeding up the rollout of Chip and PIN terminals in the US, and associated credit and debit card technology to combat the recent spate of security issues experienced by major retailers, such as Target.

Target's security measures are currently in the spotlight after a serious breach led to the theft of the personal details of around 110 million people.

The retailer's chief financial officer (CFO) John Mulligan said the company will be accelerating its $100 million programme for rolling out the technology and it has set a goal of having it in place by early 2015, more than six months ahead of schedule.

Congress is currently working on new laws to protect consumers, but the recent breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels has increased calls for the modernisation of US payment protection methods.

Ed Mierzwinski, of US Public Interest Research Groups, said Chip and PIN is the next big technology in the US, but he pointed out that banks have not proposed the move, which has been in place in Europe for a number of years now, and their involvement will be crucial if it is to be a success.

By Asim Shah