Sam’s Club to Offer a Safer Credit Card

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Sam’s Club is going to offer its consumers a credit card with a microchip to prevent fraud. It is the first major American retailer to switch to a more secure payment card technology that has been widely discussed since a consumer data breach at Target last year.

The new Sam’s Club MasterCard has an embedded EMV chip technology which makes the card more difficult to duplicate than those that use a magnetic strip.

The chip-enabled card is the latest effort in the retail industry to offer more secure forms of payment after the Target data breach put in danger the personal information of millions of customers.

Chip cards are widely used in Europe and other countries to prevent counterfeiters and thieves, but few United States merchants are set up to process them. Walmart, the Sam’s Club’s parent company, started installing chip-enabled terminals several years ago, and today all Sam’s Club and most Walmart locations can accept chip cards.

The other security technology used on credit cards is PIN codes. They are more difficult to fake than a signature. The Sam’s Club cards will be PIN enabled but will primarily verify users by signature. However, the next generation of the cards, which will be issued next year, will primarily require PIN verification.

The Sam’s Club MasterCard is issued by GE Capital Retail Bank and will be available this month. Walmart cards with chip technology will be issued this summer.

Target is speeding up its switch to chip-and-pin technology in its stores and on its branded debit and credit cards. The company plans to be finished with the transition by early next year.

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